Leo Schofield

Leo Schofield (AM) is a prominent figure in Australian public life. Although always closely involved with major arts and cultural organisations, he never actually worked in this field until August 1993 when he was appointed Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts. The three subsequent Melbourne Festivals, planned and implemented under Schofield?s direction, were outstanding artistic and commercial successes. They generated national and international media interest and exceptional community and corporate support.

Returning to his home city of Sydney, Schofield was appointed Director of the Sydney Festival, organising four highly successful annual festivals between 1998 and 2001. He was also the Artistic Director of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival and the Sydney 2000 Paralympics Arts Festival. Leo has also served as Artistic Director of Sydney?s renowned New Year?s Eve celebrations for 2002, 2003 and in 2004 when this internationally acclaimed spectacle was honoured by the Australian Tourism Commission as the most outstanding special event of the year. His most recent success in the entertainment and cultural fields was in 2005 when he acted as Creative Director for the first-ever visit to Australia by the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This event drew a crowd of over one hundred and fifty thousand spectators over five sold-out performances.

Prior to organising and directing these landmark cultural events, Leo spent twenty-five years in the advertising and communications industry, mostly in Australia but with stints in London and New York. He was Creative Director of several of the country?s largest agencies before setting up his own communications consultancy. During this time, Leo developed a parallel career as journalist and broadcaster. For over a decade his weekly column in The Sydney Morning Herald was one of the most widely read in the country. This readership expanded even further with his appointment as a columnist with The Sunday Telegraph, Australia?s biggest-selling newspaper. He now writes for a variety of ACP magazines. He is Editor-at-Large for Gourmet Traveller and travels widely writing on destinations and food for that magazine. He writes a weekly column for The Bulletin and contributes monthly columns, feature articles and news items to Australian House and Garden and to Men?s Style.

Leo has been associated with numerous charitable, conservation and environmental causes. He has served on the Centennial Park Trust and on a number of NSW Government advisory committees. A past member of the Executive of the National Trust of Australia (NSW), he was also Chairman of the Committee of Review - Commonwealth Owned Heritage Properties. Over the years he has also worked with many arts organisations, often in a fund-raising capacity, serving for nine years as a Trustee of the Powerhouse Museum for Sydney and as a member for the Federal Government?s Cultural Advisory Panel with input into the Creative Nation policy. He has been co-Chairman of the Dame Joan Hammond Foundation, a member of the Advisory Panel for the Victorian Government?s Victoria Commissions initiative, and a Trustee of Melbourne?s Old Treasury Building.

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