Mr Neil Balnaves AO


Mr Neil Balnaves AOMr Neil Balnaves AO has worked in the media industry for over 45 years, previously holding the position of Executive Chairman of the Southern Star Group which he founded.

Mr Balnaves is the Chairman of Ardent Leisure Group, one of Australia's most successful owners and operators of premium leisure assets. He is a Trustee Member of Bond University and in 2009 received an Honorary Doctorate of the University. Mr Balnaves is a Director of the Sydney Orthopaedic Research Institute, a member of the Advisory Council and Dean’s Circle of the University of New South Wales (Faculty of Medicine) and in 2010 received an Honorary Doctorate of the University. Mr Balnaves is a Board member of the Art Gallery of South Australia, a Director of Technicolor Australia Limited, serves on numerous advisory and community organisations and is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Balnaves’ former directorships include Hanna-Barbera Australia, Reed Consolidated Industries, Hamlyn Group, Taft Hardie and Southern Cross Broadcasting.

In 2006 Mr Balnaves established The Balnaves Foundation, a philanthropic fund that disperses more than $2.5 million annually in supporting eligible organisations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine, and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and Indigenous communities.

In 2010 Mr Balnaves was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to business and philanthropy.