In 1969, Amway cofounders Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos decided that Australia would be the company’s first intercontinental expansion. And forty years ago today – on April 18, 1971 – that vision became reality. As Rich has noted in the Amway history books, “There was little science in the choice. We simply liked the people.”
It was the first of many ventures in which original plans had to be adapted to the realities of new markets and cultures. From Australia, distributors’ cross-border relationships allowed Amway to also launch the business in Hong Kong (1974) and Malaysia (1976).
Today, more than 100,000 distributors own their own Amway businesses in Australia and New Zealand, and the majority of new ones are under the age of 30. Triple Olympic Gold Medalist Libby Trickett and cricketing legend Adam Gilchrist are company ambassadors; and donations of over $2 million have been made to help recover from local disasters and assist children with disabilities.
Next month, Australia will celebrate with employees and distributors and share in a big announcement. We’ll cover the big news here, so stay tuned! In the meantime, on behalf of your friends around the world, happy 40th birthday, Amway Australia!
(Pictured: Amway Australia headquarters in Castle Hill, New South Wales.)