About this site

Author of inductee biographies: Frank Van Straten OAM


The inductee biographies were all written by Frank Van Straten.

Frank Van Straten

Frank Van Straten

Frank’s interest in the performing arts started when he was still at school. Over the years he has amassed a vast collection of Australian theatre memorabilia and has researched and written extensively on the subject. He was the first archivist of the Victorian Arts Centre’s Performing Arts Museum, and its director from 1984 until 1993. The Museum is Australia’s principal performing arts repository and one of the few of its kind in the world.

For fifteen years from 1986 Frank researched and presented ABC Radio’s popular Nostalgia feature over Melbourne’s 774 and the Victorian Regional Network.


In 1999 Frank researched and presented The Sound of Melbourne, a ninety-minute audio documentary celebrating the 75th anniversary of 774/3LO that achieved ‘best-seller’ status on CD and cassette and won one of the Victorian Community History Awards in 2000. Over the past 35 years he has conducted hundreds of oral history interviews with members of the performing arts community.

Frank contributes historical articles to many theatre programs and journals, including On Stage, published quarterly by the Victoria Theatres Trust. His books include National Treasure: The Story of Gertrude Johnson and the National Theatre (1994), The Regent Theatre: Melbourne’s Palace of Dreams (1996), Tivoli (2003) and Huge Deal: The Fortunes and Follies of Hugh D. McIntosh (2004). Frank acted as Historical Consultant for Graeme Murphy’s spectacular ‘dance musical’ Tivoli, which premiered at the State Theatre in Melbourne in 2002.

Frank is a patron of the Cinema and Theatre Historical Society (Victoria) and a long-serving member of the Board of the National Theatre. He is a founding member and committee member of the Victoria Theatres Trust, which is dedicated to promoting Australian theatre heritage. He is on the judging panels of the Green Room and Helpmann Awards, both of which reward excellence in the performing arts.

In 1999 Frank Van Straten was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his services to the performing arts in Australia.

He was appointed Live Performance Australia’s Official Historian in 2007.


Live Performance Australia Hall of Fame Advisory Committee:


Andrew Kay (Chair), LPA President
Katharine Brisbane, Currency Press
Victoria Chance, Currency Press
Richard Fotheringham, researcher and writer
Peter Freund, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat
Clifford Hocking, entrepreneur
Sue Nattrass, LPA Life Member
Brian Nebenzahl, Managing director, Playbill Pty Ltd
Ed Nimmervoll, popular music historian
Dr John Rickard, actor and historian
Malcolm Robertson, actor and director
Frank Van Straten, performing arts historian


Web site project team


The project is managed by Claire Harris, Membership Services Officer, Live Performance Australia.

Information architecture, concept design and content integration by Reece Lamshed, Binary Blue.

Interface design by Christopher Howlett, Post Studio Arts.

Programming by John Pierce, Internet Guru.