Max Kay

Performer, Presenter and Business Man

Max arrived in Perth from Scotland in the late 60’s and soon became one of Western Australia’s most sought after performers! In 1976 he opened the Civic Theatre in Inglewood where he wrote, produced, and performed his own shows with a personally trained cast of, dancers, singers, and actors.

The format was so successful, that in 1980 he restored an old meatworks factory in Highgate and at a cost of over one million dollars, built and refurbished the premises to make it one of the most respected private theatres in the country. Both The “Civic Theatre” and Max became Icons playing to over one and three quarter million customers and employing 120 people, including stage performers, musicians, technicians, administration, sales staff and food and beverage staff.


Max Kay cites his mentor as the late Sir Charles Court, with whom he became close friends. Sir Charles in fact, recommended him to assume some of his patronships as he felt he was unable to do them justice, as he grew older.
The Kay family were indebted to Sir Charles when, in order to keep a promise of opening the new Civic Theatre he had to arrive a day late at Malcolm Fraser’s Premier’s Conference in 1981

In January 2001 at the height of its success, Max closed the Theatre to pursue other goals, of a community nature, by concentrating on various charitable causes that he had helped throughout his business career and running for the City of Perth Council to which he was elected.

In June 2001 Max’s contribution to the entertainment and hospitality industry, was recognized when he was awarded the Citizen of the Year for the Arts Culture and entertainment category. This award earned Max a post nominal title of Cit WA. In the same year, he was thrilled to receive the Premiers award for “Legend of the Hospitality Industry”.

Max earned his highest accolade in January 2003 when he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the entertainment industry and for charitable works. That same year he was proud to be one of 1300 Australians to receive the Prime Ministers Centennial Medal. 

Max was always extremely grateful to have been awarded The Viet Nam Logistical Support Medal and a special Citation from the Commander of the American Defence Force General Abrahams, for his services, in entertaining troops from both Countries as an initiative of the Australian Government.

Max has been a tireless worker for the Community, sitting on many Boards and committees and devoting time to his favourite charities.

  • President at The National Trust of Western Australia

  • Board Member at Prostate Cancer Foundarion

  • Radio Presenter at Curtin FM 100.1

  • Former Past President at Australian American Association

  • Previously Perth Theatre Trust Board Member

  • Swan Bells Foundation

  • St.Bartholomews Foundation for the Homeless

  • Patron of Gilbert and Sullivan Society

  • Theatrical Patron if Midnite Theatre Christ Church school


  • AM Order of Australia

  • Cit. WA (for Entertainment and Charity)

  • Prime Minister Centennial Medal

  • Vietnam Logistical Support Medal

  • American Vietnam Citation 

  • St John of Jerusalem Honour  

  • UK National Service Medal

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© 2018 Max Kay. Perth    
Website designed by erin.whyley@gmail.com 

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