John Haddad AO Appointed Chairman of the Arts Centre Melbourne Foundation

Australian cultural champion and business leader John Haddad AO has been appointed Chairman of the Arts Centre Melbourne Foundation, announced the President of Arts Centre Melbourne Janet Whiting today.

“The opening of the new Hamer Hall provides another opportunity to raise the bar on our fundraising efforts and we are delighted that John Haddad has accepted the role” said President Janet Whiting. “There is so much to be done to ensure that we can bring the joy of live performance to as many hearts as we can. Our annual giving appeal is vital to ensuring we can deliver what we need to today. But we also need to create a guarantee for future generations – an endowment that continues to enable us to bring colour, beauty and passion to people’s lives through amazing performing arts experiences.”

Remarking on his appointment, John Haddad said, “Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s leader in presenting exceptional performance and participation programs that reach out to every corner of the community. What I love about the performing arts is their incredible ability to inspire young minds, create community, bring joy and instil a lifelong passion. I believe Arts Centre Melbourne has an important role to play in our ever-expanding community and I look forward to encouraging more supporters to join us in making this happen.”

John Haddad is a passionate supporter of Melbourne’s cultural community and a patron of the Arts Centre since 1999. He also donated the Col Sopov Family of Man I and II sculptures commissioned by John Truscott in 1983 for the yet-to-be-opened Theatres Building. He was a driving force behind the inception of Australia’s first hotel casino, Wrest Point, in 1973. Since then, he has been behind the success of the Federal Hotels chain of casino resorts and hotels and a prominent leader in the hotel and tourism industry in Australia.

Over his distinguished career, Mr Haddad has been Deputy Chairman of the Federal Hotels Group and Deputy Chairman of Crown Management, Chairman of the Australian Tourist Commission, and Chairman of the Australian National Academy of Music. Mr Haddad is currently Chairman of Melbourne Food and Wine, Board Member of Victorian Major Events Company, and Emeritus Chairman of the Australian Hotels Association.

In recognition of his contribution to the tourism industry and to the community Mr Haddad was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1988, and an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1999.

Mr Haddad takes the helm of the Foundation from Graham Smorgon. “Graham has done a great job” said President Janet Whiting “and we are delighted that Graham will continue as a Trustee of Arts Centre Melbourne”.

The Arts Centre Melbourne Foundation is responsible for raising funds for Arts Centre Melbourne for use in programming, either immediately or committed to an endowment fund. John Haddad will lead the group of Governors comprising Carrillo Gantner AO (Vice Chairman), Betty Amsden OAM, Sandy Clark, John Denton, Debbie Dadon, Dana Hlavacek, Mem Kirby OAM and Jennifer Prescott.

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