Dr Tony Gould AM
Tony Gould was born in Sydney and worked as a professional actor in the UK and later in Australia.
His career changed direction in 1961 when he joined the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust and became an Arts Administrator. For the following ten years he worked as a producer and was responsible for mounting some of the finest performing activities from overseas and Australia.
He was appointed in 1972 by the ABC to the position of State Concert Manager for Queensland, but was soon promoted to a senior position at the ABC’s Head Office in Sydney where he worked with his colleagues for seven years presenting the world’s finest concert artists and symphony orchestras.
In 1979 after a world-wide search, tony was named Director of Queensland’s $130 million Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). Following the opening of the centre in 1985, it received acclaim for its achievements in all disciplines of the performing arts. However, under Tony’s direction the centre became known internationally for its contribution to the development of social-justice performing arts programs.
During his time at QPAC, Tony was Chairman of the Board of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. He has served on the Council of the Queensland University of Technology, Queensland Arts Council, Queensland Cultural Centre Trust and Music Council of Australia. He was a member of the Board of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust and served on the Australia International Cultural Council—a body established to promote Australia’s Arts image overseas.
In 1999—the twentieth anniversary of his appointment as Director of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust—Tony received a special award from Brisbane Tourism: Outstanding Contribution by an Individual for his leadership with arts-tourism initiatives.
In addition to his responsibilities as CEO and Artistic Director of QPAC, Tony established—and was Artistic Director of— the multi-million dollar Brisbane Festival 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. These major international events received critical and public acclaim. It was Tony’s policy that his festivals should include a high proportion of Australian performers and Australian performing companies.
In 1998, Tony was awarded the degree of Doctor of the University by QUT and, in 2001, Griffith University admitted him to the degree of Doctor of the University. In 2002 he was appointed to the position of Adjunct Professor at QUT in the faculty of Creative Industries.
After 23 years at QPAC, Tony retired from his position as founding Director in 2002. During that period, attendances totalled more than eight million and there were in excess of 12,000 performances. Tony worked with all major stage and concert producers and his focus has invariably been on the appointment of Australian performers and creative artists
In 2005, Tony was honoured by the Queensland Government as a Queensland Great for his invaluable personal contribution to Queensland.
Tony has been appointed a Queensland Australia Day Ambassador on six occasions (2005–2009 and 2011). He has also been awarded the Australian Centenary Medal.
On his retirement the exhibition space at QPAC was named the Tony Gould Gallery to acknowledge Gould’s contribution to the live-performance industry
For many years Tony has been committed to assisting Australian performers who are experiencing financial hardship. As an outcome of this, in 2008 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Actors’ and Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund. He is currently Patron of the Fund.
He has been made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Arts.
In 2010, Tony was awarded the prestigious JC Williamson Award at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Helpmann Awards. This national award recognises an outstanding contribution to the Australian Live Performance Industry and is the highest honour that Live Performance Australia can bestow on an individual.
He and his wife Jenny have two children: Anthony is a University Professor in Canada; and Kate is the CEO of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.