Leslie Walford AM passed away on 13 February, aged 85. As a founding director and President of the Seaborn Broughton & Walford Foundation (owner of the SBW Stables Theatre and since early this month, the Griffin offices at 13 Craigend St), Leslie has made a significant contribution to the performing arts over many decades.
Leslie was born in Australia but at the age of 11 was sent to school in England before studying interior design in Paris. He returned to Australia in 1956 and soon after established an antiques and decorating business in Double Bay. Leslie became one of the best-known figures in interior design in Australia, winning many accolades in Australia and overseas.
During his time as President, Leslie oversaw the SBW Foundation’s investment in numerous significant artistic projects, including the Elizabethan Sound Shell for Independent Theatre, Bell Shakespeare Company Young Artists Program, NIDA Artist-in-Residence Program, Parnassus’ Den and the Sydney Theatre Awards just to name a few. The Foundation also purchased several properties, including premises on Botany Road to house their administration and the SBW Performing Arts Collection, and more recently 13 Craigend St, the home of Griffin’s offices.
Among his other appointments, Leslie was a Director of the Art Gallery NSW and of NIDA, as a representative of the Foundation.
Our condolences go to Leslie’s many family and friends, and particularly to Colin Davies.