Robert Magid was born in Quingdao, China, to parents born in Manchuria. His father was in the fur trade, working as a go-between with importers from the United States and Chinese furriers. Robert was age nine when his family emigrated to Australia. He arrived speaking fluent English, which he learned while attending the Shanghai Jewish school.
In his late teens Robert was active in politics and became president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In the early ‘60’s he was involved in fighting against the Vietnam war. He studied mathematics and proceeded to post-grad studies in Economics at Syracuse University’s Maxwell Graduate School and worked with the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines and on projects throughout the region as an economist.
After a few years, Robert moved to Israel, where he worked in the government on grain importation. He spent seven years in Israel, where he served in the army and then moved for ten years to England, where he became a merchant banker and then a toy designer. He sold his toy business to Hasbro in the US and returned to Australia where he purchased a window manufacturing business.
When he was over 50 years old, Robert converted an empty office building into residential apartments, in the heart of the city of Sydney, and at that point his property career started. He now owns hotels including Melbourne’s Hotel Lindrum and Sydney’s Pier One Hotel and Harbour Rocks Hotel, residential developments, retail and office buildings. In 2007 he set up Polaris Media and purchased the Australian Jewish News, the only Jewish newspaper in Australia, and then launched Property Weekly Magazine. In 2014 he produced a documentary, “Eyeless in Gaza: Seeing the World Through a Distorted Lens” a penetrating and deeply disturbing examination of the flawed Western media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war directed by Martin Himel, a former Jerusalem based producer for America’s ABC News.
Robert sat on the board of Australian broadcaster Network 10 for five years and has invested in and supports numerous high-tech companies and research laboratories in partnership with the Israel Institute of Technology.