The 2013 bmag Brisbane Person of the Year is art dealer, philanthropist and Brisbane identity, Philip Bacon.

The Brisbane Person of the Year award was presented by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk at the Treasury Casino and Hotel on Monday evening 28 October. Brisbane’s arts, sciences, business and community leaders and family members were present representing the fourteen nominated candidates. The 2012 bmag Brisbane Person of the Year winner, Dean Merlo and 2011 winner, Danny Armstrong were also in attendance.

Mr Bacon, OA, a former Able Goldman Sachs Philanthropist of the Year, is renowned for his work giving to artists and arts bodies Australia-wide.  For nearly 40 years he has owned and operated one of the country’s most commercially successful art dealerships from Brisbane.

He has served on a string of arts boards, most notably The National Gallery and Opera Australia, as well as Major Brisbane Festivals, the Board of Trustees of the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Biennial International Music Festival, the Brisbane Institute, Australian National Academy of Music and the Arts Investment Advisory Board.

“There’s been a mistake, but since my name is on the trophy, I’m keeping it,” Mr Bacon joked in his acceptance speech acknowledging the calibre of his fellow candidates.

In his handover speech, 2012 winner Dean Merlo spoke of his son telling his school class that he father had a trophy saying he was “the bestest in Brisbane”.

The hotly-contested titled featured an outstanding field of candidates for 2013 including:

  • Justine Powell, Royal Flying Doctor Service flight nurse
  • Jeff Dunn, CEO of Cancer Council Queensland
  • Sergeant Jim Bellos, community worker
  • Bruce Wolfe, architect and philanthropist
  • Li Cunxin, artistic director Queensland Ballet
  • Maha Sinnathamby, businessman and founder Springfield community
  • Bronwyn Sheehan, founder and executive director of the  Pyjama Foundation
  • Radmila Desic, champion for women in the construction industry
  • Dr Paul Licina, spine surgeon
  • Stefan, businessman and entrepreneur
  • Kelly McBurnie, educator
  • Michael Beatty, RSPCA media and communications manager
  • Karen Walsh, Micah (homeless care).

The award was judged by Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, ABC breakfast announcer and bmag columnist Spencer Howson and bmag editor Helen Goltz.

Mr Bacon was presented with an advance framed cover of bmag (released 5 November), a cheque for $12,000 to be donated to the charity of their choosing and a commemorative trophy.

bmag congratulates Philip Bacon and thanks all fourteen candidates for their contribution to making Brisbane a better city.