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Simon Gallaher

Simon Gallaher has developed a highly successful private performing arts company based in Queensland for the past 20 years (Essgee Entertainment). He is best known to Australian audiences as a music theatre star, television and concert performer, singer, pianist and songwriter. He has also become one of Australia's foremost theatrical producers and his company, Essgee Entertainment, a major entertainment presenter.

Mr Gallaher studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music before becoming a regular on The Mike Walsh Show and hosting his own night-time television variety show on ABC-TV. He has been awarded three Mo-Variety Awards, a Logie Award, ARIA Award, Queenslander of the Year Commendation, Advance Australia Award for his contributions to the arts and was twice voted Queensland's Entertainer of the Year.

In 1984, Mr Gallaher made the transition from television to the stage as Frederic in the Australian production of The Pirates of Penzance and later performed in other musicals including Hello Dolly, The Student Prince, and My Fair Lady.

In 1994, Mr Gallaher created a new stage production of The Pirates of Penzance which was a huge hit across Australia and New Zealand and received a triple platinum video and an ARIA Award. He then created new versions of The Mikado and HMS Pinafore, and a new production of The Merry Widow. His company has also produced Terrence McNally's Master Class and Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

In 2007, Mr Gallaher initiated Shopstoppers, a series of music-theatre workshops for young Queensland performers. In 2001 he created a special anniversary revival production of The Pirates of Penzance which opened at QPAC and played through until 2003, the $6 million Australian musical Eureka (in 2004 in association with the Melbourne International Arts Festival) and a new production of The Mikado (which opened in Brisbane in 2008 and in Adelaide in 2009). He recently returned to the stage at QPAC in the Harvest Rain productions of Hairspray and Spamalot and has recently completed the Australian production of WICKED starring as The Wizard.

For the past 10years Simon has served on the Board of Trustees to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) including as Deputy Chair of the organisation. He has also served on the board of the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) 2013-2016 and as Chair of Harvest Rain Theatre Company 2012-2015. He recently retired from his duties at QPAC and has been reappointed to the board of Queensland Theatre. He is patron to many arts organisations including The Queensland Show Choir, Qld Youth Symphony Orchestra, Spotlight Theatre Company and the Gold Coast Theatre Alliance. He is a member of Live Performance Australia (LPA) and sits on the Helpmann Awards nominating panel for Musical Theatre. Simon has been a member of the Media & Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA -Actors' Equity) since 1976.