Lifetime Achievement Award


The AAPPAC Lifetime Achievement Award is the only award conferred by AAPPAC. The Award pays tribute to and recognises dedicated individuals for their commitment and outstanding contributions to advancing the Association’s mission.

Benson Puah

Mr Benson Puah is the Chief Executive Officer of The Esplanade Co Ltd (TECL) in Singapore. As its CEO he is responsible for the overall development, management, programming and artistic direction of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres.

From 1 Aug 2009 to 31 Jul 2013, he was also the CEO of Singapore’s National Arts Council (NAC), a position he took on concurrently as CEO of TECL. During his tenure, he repositioned and strengthened the strategic and planning role of the Council as the national agency and champion for the arts. He played a key role in enabling significant developments for the arts in Singapore by building capabilities of the arts sector and bringing the arts to a wider segment of the population. He also brought the arts community and stakeholders closer together through dialogue on key issues and policies and made inroads in the international arena where Singapore arts and artists were showcased at major international platforms.

In Apr 2010, Mr Puah was presented with the title Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his contributions to the arts in Singapore.

In 2008, he was elected as Chair of International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). He held this position for 2 years after which he served as the Immediate Past Chair for another year. In 2013, he received ISPA’s Patrick Hayes Award in recognition of his continued involvement and achievements in arts management.

Mr Puah is the longest serving Chairman of AAPPAC, from Jan 2003 to Oct 2013. Under his leadership, the membership grew threefold and he introduced many initiatives which strengthened the Association and grew its resources and influence. He has also spearheaded many projects with AAPPAC members, including a long-term partnership with Suntory Hall for collaborative productions and promotion of music and musicians in Asia. He has hosted many AAPPAC members in Singapore to exchange ideas, expertise and knowledge. TECL has also hosted two AAPPAC Conferences, in 2005 and 2014.

Benson Puah

Chief Executive Officer of The Esplanade Co Ltd

Sue Nattrass AO

Ms Sue Nattrass A.O. has had a distinguished career in the arts for over 40 years in many capacities, as stage manager, company manager, director and artistic director in Australia.

She was awarded the St Michael’s medal for service to the community in 1998 and in 1999 the Victoria Day Award for Community and Public Service. She was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia for services to the Arts and the Community in 2002. In 2003, Ms Nattrass was awarded Life Membership by Live Performance Australia. She also received the 2006 Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural Leadership Award from the Australia Business Arts Foundation, acknowledging her contributions to the arts, and her impact and authority in many aspects of Australia’s cultural life over four decades.

In Apr 2007, Ms Nattrass was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association. This acknowledged her leadership and support for all aspects of the performing arts sector and the wider arts community.

In recognition of her continued dedication across the broad performing arts industry, Deakin University established The Sue Nattrass Scholarship Fund to foster arts managers of the future.

Ms Nattrass was the major driving force behind the establishment of AAPPAC. In 1996, during her tenure as General Manager of the Victorian Arts Centre, Ms Nattrass arranged for a group of people from arts centres in Asian and Pacific regions to meet to establish an organisation that would link the performing arts centres in the region and encourage collaboration in the development of new work and in the training of people for the theatre.

At this historic meeting, the mission of AAPPAC was first formalised and remains true in spirit today.

Sue Nattrass AO