Honouring the remarkable life of Frank Van Straten AM

by | Jun 13, 2024

A memorial service to honour the extraordinary life and achievements of renowned theatre historian, archivist, author, radio presenter and devoted patron of the performing arts Frank Van Straten AM will be held on Tuesday 16 July 2024, at the Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne.

The service, which will be open to the public and available to view on a livestream, is an opportunity to commemorate the life of Frank Van Straten and reflect on his extraordinary legacy.

Frank Van Straten AM published eight books on Australian theatre history and was the first archivist of the Performing Arts Museum (now Australian Performing Arts Collection), at Arts Centre Melbourne – becoming its founding director between 1984 and 1993.

Between 1986 and 2001, Van Straten researched and presented ABC Radio Melbourne’s Nostalgia segment, broadcast on Melbourne’s 774 and the ABC Victorian Regional Network. In 2001, Van Straten acted as the Historical Consultant for Graeme Murphy’s ‘dance musical’ Tivoli, performed by the Sydney Dance Company, which premiered at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne.

Van Straten served on many boards, committees and panels across the arts and cultural sector including the board of the National Theatre, Melbourne. He also served on the judging panels of the Green Room Awards and Helpmann Awards. He was a patron of the Cinema and Theatre Historical Society (Victoria), the John Truscott Design Foundation and was a founding member and committee member of the Victoria Theatres Trust (now Theatre Heritage Australia). He was also a Life Member of the National Trust (Victoria) and member of the Royal Historical Society.

In 1999, Van Straten received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in honour of his contributions to the performing arts in Australia. In 2007, Van Straten was appointed Live Performance Australia’s Official Historian and in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). In the same year he was also awarded the 2017 Centenary Sue Nattrass Award by Live Performance Australia.

Memorial for Frank Van Straten, AM
16 July | Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne | 1.30pm

To attend the Memorial please visit artscentremelbourne.com.au

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