Tony Mack honoured as a Member of The Order of Australia
On 26 January 2014, as part of the Australia Day celebrations, Tony Mack was named a Member of the Order of Australia, his country's highest honor. Tony has had a long and distinguished career in the performing arts, with an emphasis on theater for young audiences. He is presently co-founder and co-editor of the Write Local. Play Global. network for TYA playwrights. Previously he served as Vice President of ASSITEJ International, Editor of Lowdown Magazine and has appeared in many films and plays.
All of us at WLPG congratulate our friend and colleague - we are honored and proud to work with him.
A more complete biography is below:
Tony Mack was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1958. He began work as an actor in films while still a teenager. He moved to Sydney in 1977 to study acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). After graduating, he worked professionally as an actor in both Sydney and Melbourne with companies such as Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne's Playbox Theatre. He acted in TV series such as Prisoner and The Sullivans, and spent a year in Christchurch, New Zealand at the Court Theatre where he met his wife, Leigh Mangin.
Returning to Australia, Mack settled in Adelaide, working with companies such as State Theatre Company (South Australia), Harvest Theatre, Patch Theatre Company, Stage Company and Vitalstatistix. Apart from film and television work, Mack also worked extensively in film, video and radio in the corporate world – performing, narrating, presenting or doing voiceovers for some of Australia’s best known corporations.
In the early 1990's, he founded Boulevard Theatre and, as its Artistic Director, toured early childhood theatre throughout South Australia, writing and directing acclaimed shows such as Try Again Red Riding Hood and Next Door. He trained some of South Australia’s finest performing artists at the University of Adelaide and was Editor of Lowdown, Australia’s youth performing arts magazine, from 1999–2007.
From 2002–2008 he served as Vice-President of ASSITEJ International. In that capacity, he promoted and advocated for theatre for children and young people in visits to more than 20 countries. He has written articles for publications in the USA, Great Britain, and Japan, and has co-edited, with Wolfgang Schneider, three ASSITEJ Year Books that have been distributed to youth performing arts organizations in up to 81 countries. He was the Australian international representative of Young People and the Arts Australia/ASSITEJ Australia (YPAA) from 2002–2008.
From 2005–2008 he was the Chair of the ASSITEJ Executive Committee’s Congress Working Group, and responsible to the Executive Committee for the successful delivery of the XVIth ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival in Adelaide, Australia. After the Congress, Mack was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship from 2008-2010.
In 2011, Mack co-founded, with Kim Peter Kovac and Deirdre Lavrakas, the ASSITEJ playwright network Write Local. Play Global. He continues to work as an actor, acting teacher, consultant, and arts journalist.