Live Performance Australia - Ten Decades of Dedication

Live Performance Australia (LPA), the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry, has a history that stretches back nearly 100 years.

The Theatrical Proprietors' and Managers' Association

On 11 October 1917 the Theatrical Proprietors’ and Managers’ Association was officially   registered as ‘as an organisation of employers in or in connection with the Theatrical, Vaudeville and General Amusement Industry.’ Despite a number of name changes over the years, our organisation continues to lead the industry as Live Performance Australia.

Foundation President

Our foundation President was Sir George Tallis of entrepreneurs J.C. Williamson Ltd, with Hugh D. McIntosh of the Tivoli Vaudeville Circuit and Sir Benjamin Fuller of Fuller’s Theatres as vice presidents.  The original fees were one guinea ($2.10) a year. Unfortunately all our early records were lost when fire destroyed Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne in 1928. From 1938 our solicitor was future Prime Minister Harold Holt.


By 1976 our membership included every theatre owner and major entrepreneur in Australia, both commercial and subsidised. In 1941 we amalgamated with the Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association.

A number of name changes

Over the years we changed our name – often!  From The Theatrical Proprietors’and Managers’ Association of Australasia, The Theatre Proprietors’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association, The Entertainment Industry Employers’ Association, the Australian Entertainment Industry Association and, since 2006, Live Performance Australia.

Promoting the Australian Entertainment Industry

Our members include hundreds of commercial and subsidised organisations. We cover theatre, musicals, opera, dance, festivals, contemporary and classical music, comedy and variety, circus and physical theatre, special events, colleges, multi-purpose and sporting venues and hirers, casinos, orchestras, ticketing, exhibitions and displays, promotion and production, cinema exhibition, crewing, sound and lighting, service supply and contracting.

A national structure

We have an Executive Council drawn from representatives of our membership, elected every two years. The Council is geographically representative as well as covering the wide range of our members’ activities, centreing on three core areas: Workplace Relations; Policy and Strategy; Membership Services and Events.

The inaugural J.C. Williamson Award

In 1998 we inaugurated the annual J.C. Williamson Award™, the foremost honour the Australian Live Entertainment Industry can bestow. In 2001 we introduced the annual national Helpmann Awards to recognise artistic excellence. The Awards are named in honour of Sir Robert Helpmann’s memory and achievements. The ceremonies are televised nationally.

Our Vision

Our Vision strives to ensure the growth and long term sustainability of ther Australian live performance industry.