“From a most humble beginning came one of Australia's, if not the world's so some believe, greatest transport and tourist operator, Sir Reginald Myles Ansett.” (National Road Transport, Hall of Fame)
Sir Reginald Myles Ansett
Sir Reginald Myles Ansett (1909-1981) was a well-known Australian businessman, aviator, and philanthropist, best known for founding Ansett Airlines, one of Australia's two leading domestic airlines between 1937 and 2001.
He also established a number of other business enterprises including Ansett Pioneer, Australia's leading coachlines, Ansett Road Freight and the ATV-0 television station in Melbourne, which later became part of Network Ten.
Leaving school at age 14 and entering his father’s employment, he attended Swinburne Technical College and qualified as a knitting-machine and sewing-machine mechanic.
In 1929 he cashed in a life assurance policy and took flying lessons. He was awarded Australian pilot’s licence number 419.
In 1935, Ansett registered Ansett Airways Pty Ltd and purchased a six-seat Fokker Universal. The business expanded significantly during the Second World War, and again in the 1970’s with interests in television stations, Diners Club and Biro Bic (Australia) Pty Ltd.
Reginald Ansett was appointed a KBE in 1969. Addressed as `R. M.’ by his senior executives and other business intimates, he had high expectations of himself and his staff. Each day he commuted by helicopter between his 113-acre (45.7 ha) property, Gunyong Valley at Mount Eliza, where he lived with his wife and daughters, and his office in Melbourne, where he also took a keen interest in the programming of his television stations.
His passion was breeding and racing thoroughbreds. He was a foundation member and sometime chairman of the Mornington Racing Club, and was president for some years of the Port Phillip District Racing Association.