David Dominic Walsh
|Known for||Art Collector, professional gambler, businessman|
Walsh grew up in a Roman Catholic family in the Glenorchy district of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, the youngest of three children. He attended Dominic College, and the University of Tasmania, where he briefly studied mathematics and computer science in 1979. Walsh made his fortune by developing a gambling system used to bet on horse racing and other sports.
In 2001, he founded the Moorilla Museum of Antiquities on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, which closed in 2007 to undergo $75 million renovations. It was re-opened in January 2011 as the Museum of Old and New Art or MONA. MONA won the 2012 Australian Tourism Award for best new development and is a major Tasmanian tourist attraction.
In July 2012, Walsh was involved in a dispute with the Australian Tax Office, which demanded he pay $37 million from the profits of his gambling system. The dispute was "entirely resolved" in October 2012.
In December 2013 Walsh gave a revealing interview on his personal philosophies, his quantitative approach to gambling, and the role of chance in his life to The Australian Financial Review's contributing editor Christopher Joye. He has stated that he subsequently developed a new chapter in his 2014 memoir based on the ideas that were formulated during this dialogue.
In October 2014 Walsh's book A Bone of Fact was published. The publisher described it as Walsh's "utterly unconventional and absorbing memoir".
In the 2016 Australia Day Honours, Walsh was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for 'distinguished service to the visual arts through the establishment of MONA, and as a supporter of cultural, charitable, sporting and education groups.'