Bruce Pollack AM
Bruce Pollack AM has been associated with the arts and entertainment industries since 1958 when, aged 10, he started working in the carpenters workshop and the paint department of Melbourne's St. Martin's Theatre on weekends and after school. He continued to work at St. Martin's throughout his school years and made his one and only professional on-stage appearance for that Company in January 1966 in Mumba Jumba and the Bunyip written by Peter O’Shaughnessy and Barry Humphries. At this time Bruce was Chair of a Jewish Youth Group that ran social activities and for one memorable event engaged the young singer John Farnham to perform at the St. Kilda Town Hall for a dance party of over 4,000 people. Additionally, Bruce established the Judean Players an amateur theatre group.
During university studies he worked as a Stage Manager at St. Martin’s Theatre, and as a sound rigger on many shows and events including the premiere productions of “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Melbourne. In addition, he performed, designed and was technical director for a number of University Reviews, and was elected to the Board of the Union Council with responsibility for all entertainment generated within the University. This included entrepreneuring many concert tours, one of which was a highly acclaimed season by Cleo Laine.
Following completion of a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Melbourne he immediately joined St. Martin’s Theatre as Production Manager. One year later he joined the Melbourne Theatre Company as Trainee Director on a grant from the Australia Council for two years. When that grant expired he was appointed personal assistant to John Sumner, the Director/Administrator of the M.T.C. In this capacity he was responsible for overall repertoire co-ordination and all season planning; casting; administration of the "Play Reading Service"; all youth activities and drama workshops; drama teacher to the Australian Ballet School for five years; the design of renovations to the Athenaeum Theatre and the draft designs for conversion of various buildings in to a new office and workshops.
During his employment with the M.T.C. Bruce Pollack used his architectural training to work as a freelance Architectural Theatre Consultant. His designs for The Ararat Performing Arts Centre, a renovation of a disused factory into a theatre complex, won major architecture and Royal Australian Institute of Architects Awards. Additionally, he was appointed as Senior Theatre Consultant to the Victorian Ministry for the Arts for all theatre building projects and acted as client/representative on behalf of the Ministry for three major development projects in Victoria, including the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.
In the mid seventies Bruce Pollack travelled to the United Kingdom where he worked for four years as General Manager of the Leicester Theatre Trust, comprising three auditoria and four theatre-in-education touring companies - one of the largest repertory theatre companies in the U.K. During his employment with the Leicester Theatre Trust, the Company produced OLIVER, MY FAIR LADY and OKLAHOMA which were sold to the Arts Council of Great Britain for touring the regions, and in turn to Cameron Mackintosh, who then transferred each production to the West End for highly successful seasons. The Company also produced the first production of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW outside of London which extensively toured the U.K. and Europe. As Executive Producer of these major musicals he became familiar with all aspects of major West End theatrical productions. This original Leicester/Cameron Mackintosh production of OKLAHOMA was re-staged in Australia in the 1980's earning royalties for Leicester from Pollack’s original negotiation.
Due to his interest in law and industrial relations, and on behalf of the Theatre Producers Association of UK, Bruce Pollack was appointed to Chair several national U.K. committees to negotiate between producers and theatre workers. The contract that he wrote for the commissioning and licensing of new plays is still widely used throughout the U.K.
Bruce Pollack returned to Australia in 1980 to take up the position of General Manager of the Nimrod Theatre Company. During his time with Nimrod Bruce Pollack entrepreneured the acclaimed production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN with Warren Mitchell and Mel Gibson which set still unbroken attendance records at the Seymour Theatre Centre, and the first production of CANDIDE in Australia.
Bruce Pollack Publicity was established in late 1982. From his many years of involvement in arts administration and entertainment marketing, he gained all the necessary skills and expertise to establish a successful Public Relations Company that specialised in media relations for the entertainment industry, and major lifestyle, tourist and public events.
Over the next twenty years Bruce Pollack Publicity grew to be one of the largest publicity organisations in Australia providing publicity and marketing support for producers of live entertainment, many areas of the arts, the tourism and leisure industries, and government bodies.
Highlights of this period include:-
In late 2002 Bruce Pollack decided to re-structure the Company and created Pollack Consulting. He now works as a Sole Consultant providing strategic media advice to a wide range of clients.
Projects and tours undertaken since that time include:-
Public Relations Award Highly Commended – at the annual NSW Awards, The Public Relations Institute of Australia recognised the publicity team of Opera Australia for the publicity campaign for “La Traviata” on Sydney Harbour in March 2012. Bruce Pollack was the leading freelance consultant on this team.
In 2020 Bruce was made a Life Member of the Friends of the Australian Ballet (NSW) for his many years of service to that organisation. He continues as Deputy Chair of The Friends of the Australian Ballet and Chair of its Events and Marketing Committee. Bruce Pollack was a Director of Theatresports Pty Ltd for six years.
Bruce has been a guest lecturer at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, has presented papers on Public Relations and Marketing at various national conferences, and has taught extended courses in publicity at tertiary institutions.
Bruce is a Member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and a past Member of the NSW Mental Health Information Service Reference Group.
On 26 January 2016 the Governor General of Australia announced that Bruce Pollack was appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia. The Order of Australia Award was given “For significant service to the community in the areas of social welfare and public health”.
Bruce became a vegetarian at age five and a pescatarian at age 26.
Bruce Pollack forged strong associations with the gay and lesbian community through directorship and membership of a number of organisations, and by implementing publicity campaigns for many community groups. He has been acclaimed by the mainstream media and the gay and lesbian community as having been at the forefront of representing the gay and lesbian community through the national media since the early eighties. The first major campaign was in 1984 with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, working for them to gain positive media coverage to counteract negative media fed by the Rev. Fred Nile in his attempt to stop the 1985 Parade.
Highlights of his work with the gay & lesbian community work include:-
With non HIV/AIDS organisations
The Aurora Group - A Ruby Foundation Limited. In 1990 Bruce Pollack brought nine friends together to establish The Aurora Group – A Ruby Foundation Limited and The Aurora Group Trust, a charity to raise funds for non HIV related gay & lesbian community organisations. He remained Founding Chair for five years, and now continues as a Trustee watching the organisation grow to be a major funding source for non-HIV related groups in the gay & lesbian community.
Sydney World Pride – Bruce is privileged to be a member of the Nominations Committee for Sydney World Pride charged with determining the membership of the Sydney World Pride Board.
Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd. Involvement commenced in 1984 as publicist for the first Festival. Secretary and Director for five years, Consultant Publicist for nineteen years, Honorary Returning Officer for eleven years, honoured in 1994 by being appointed to The Hall of Fame. For many years this was the largest outdoor parade taking place in Australia. The recorded attendance one year by the police was over 220,000 people. Publicity for this event required months of coordination with many government agencies from the emergency services to the transport providers. At one event there was television crews from 18 different countries and over 260 individual media were accredited. He continues his association with the event as a volunteer for New Mardi Gras. Current member.
Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW. Joined in 1985. A group training facilitator and telephone counsellor for nine years, implemented many publicity campaigns, redrafted the Constitution, and wrote the Training Manual, past Secretary, current member, and has been honoured with Life Membership for his contribution to the organisation.
Stonewall Week - awarded the Stonewall Hall of Fame in 2001 for his contribution to the gay and lesbian community.
The Gay & Lesbian Business Association. Past Vice President. In 2004 Bruce Pollack was awarded the Inaugural Outstanding Gay or Lesbian Community Leader Award by the Association for his work in the community. Current member.
DIVA (The Drag Industry Variety Awards). Consultant Publicist for nine years. In 2002 Bruce was awarded the DIVA Outstanding Achievement by an Individual.
Gay Fathers. Bruce founded this organisation in 1986 as a support group for “out” gay men who were caring for their own children, either full or part time.
2002 Gay Games. Bruce implemented many publicity campaigns and held training sessions with the committee empowered to win the Gay Games Bid. Upon winning the Bid publicity campaigns were implemented internationally and at home and continued through the initial planning for the Gay Games. Nine months prior to the Games his association with the organisation recommenced as a consultant publicist and, with a group of friends, he financially underwrote a number of events.
The Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby. Consultant Publicist, past Honorary Returning Officer. Current member.
The Sydney Star Observer newspaper. Founding shareholder. Rewrote the Constitution.
PRIDE. Publicity campaigns. Current member.
GALFI - Gay & Lesbian Financial Institutions Research Project. Past Director of the Board.
Lesbian & Gay Anti Violence Project. Publicity campaigns.
AGLTA - Australian Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Publicity campaigns.
IGTA - International Gay Travel Association. Publicity campaigns.
Team Sydney. Publicity campaigns.
Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir. Publicity campaigns.
GAMMA - Gay and Married Men’s Association. Publicity campaigns.
The AIDS Trust of Australia - the national non-government funded charity. Bruce co-founded the administrative arm of the Trust in 1988 and retired from the Board in 1995, having been the longest serving Director of the Trust.
ACON - The AIDS Council of NSW. Consultant Publicist, Honorary Returning Officer. Current member. At an huge event in 2008 entitled “Honour”, Bruce was given an honour for outstanding service and commitment to the GLBT Community.
AFAO - The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. Co-ordinator of five national publicity campaigns for AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day.
BGF – Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. Publicity campaigns. Current member.
New South Wales Government Health Department AIDS Unit – implemented four years of publicity campaigns for AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day.
CSN - Community Support Network. Publicity campaigns.
SOPY - Support of Positive Youth. Publicity campaigns.
The Quilt Project. Publicity campaigns.
All work for the community has been without payment except for:-