Vale Max Christmas AM

24 Feb | '2021

I rise today to pay a very special tribute to a Gold Coast legend, a dynamic man who served our city with forward vision. He epitomised the entrepreneurial spirit that the Gold Coast is known for today. Max Christmas AM was a legend who, right up until his passing on 18 December 2020 at the age of 81, continued to serve with enormous passion. A former Gold Coast city councillor, Max was a Surfers Paradise surf lifesaving legend, a tourism advocate, a developer, a business leader and a champion for local causes in our community.

Max left school at just 14 and became a chippy. His iconic real estate career began after he was working on a roof in Surfers and a well-known real estate agent Doug Ryan arrived in a luxury car. Max yelled out to him, ‘How do I get a car like that and dress like you, Doug?’ and Doug’s classic line was, ‘You’d better get down off that roof first, Max, and come and talk to me.’ Soon after that he joined the real estate industry, in the sixties, and sold some of the early projects in that great city, from apartments in the first high-rise in Kinkabool to waterfront land on Goat Island—where my office is, on what is now Chevron Island—the gateway between Surfers Paradise and our new arts and cultural precinct, HOTA.

Max was instrumental in some of the largest and most iconic property projects in our city’s rich history. In 1971 he launched his own agency, Max Christmas Real Estate, in Orchid Avenue, and stayed there for a remarkable 33 years. Max travelled the world, promoting Gold Coast property with his legendary ‘Max Factor’. It was his energy, his drive, his capacity to talk to anybody and everybody and sell the Gold Coast for what it is—the best place on earth.

In 2009 Max was honoured as one of 150 Queenslanders who helped to shape Queensland during its first 150 years of statehood. In 2016 he received the Order of Australia for significant service to real estate and property development, tourism, local government, youth and sporting groups. Known around the world as ‘Mr Gold Coast’, he was a fierce advocate for Surfers. He visited my office many times to share his counsel and commitment to work together for our bright future. In fact, we spoke only two weeks before his passing about new plans to reignite tourism into Surfers. He always had a vision. He always had a big bold dream and encouraged me to do the same.

Max leaves a legacy and will be greatly missed by his family and all those who have had the honour of sharing time with him. Max was the embodiment of everything that is the best thing in our city, and he led the Gold Coast by not just dreaming but acting on those dreams—dreams not words. As expressed by his family on the day of his passing: ‘The Gold Coast meant so much to him. He saw the vision of greatness it held. He loved watching it grow.’ Moncrieff and the Gold Coast thank Max Christmas for his dedication, his vision and his passion. Vale, Max Christmas.

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