Blue Wiggle and keynote speaker
Anthony Field is best known around Australia and internationally as the blue Wiggle in the world's most successful children's entertainment group, The Wiggles. He is also the musical producer and creative director of the group and has steered their success since their inception.
In the 1980s, Anthony, the youngest of seven children, started his musical career in the chart-topping band The Cockroaches with two of his brothers, Paul and John, and Jeff Fatt. (the purple Wiggle)
In 1988, following the death of his niece, Bernadette Field, from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), The Cockroaches disbanded and Anthony decided to return to university and complete his degree in Early Childhood Learning, obtaining his Diploma in Education at Macquarie University. He later said that Bernadette death ultimately led to the formation of The Wiggles.
Anthony enjoyed studying early childhood music and given the success he'd had with The Cockroaches, decided to record an album in the hope that, at the very least, it would help him get a job as a preschool teacher. Not only was he successful in achieving a position but the album eventually led to the formation of The Wiggles; the ABC signed a deal with Anthony and The Wiggles to release the album.
Anthony loved his years teaching preschool and it also informed the work he did with The Wiggles. He knew his audience, he respected his audience and knew how to engage with them. After three years as a preschool teacher, things had grown so much for The Wiggles that Anthony left his teaching position to Wiggle full time.
Since forming in 1991, The Wiggles have achieved phenomenal success worldwide. Loved by children and trusted by parents, they've sold over 23 million videos/DVDs and 7 million CDs, been broadcast in over 140 countries and sold out countless live shows. In the last twenty-plus years, The Wiggles have performed more shows than The Rolling Stones in the same time.
A large part of The Wiggles success is based on their live concert appeal. Families know their children will enjoy a Wiggles show. In 2014, The Wiggles were the only successful Australian entertainment group who will have toured every state and territory in the country.
Just as The Wiggles' audience renews and refreshes every year so too does the Wiggles brand. Around 20 hours of new content is created every year including TV, video, music, online, social media, community outreach and much more. The group continues to dominate the iTunes Children's Music charts along with a large volume of DVD sales.
As a result of the group's success and strong reputation, they have had the opportunity to partner with some leading companies. Three of the original Wiggles were trained in early childhood development and today all founders are still engaged in the brand and business. Companies such as Dreamworld (Wiggles World) theme park, Baby Love, Medibank and Volkswagen as well as community groups such as UNICEF, SIDS and Kids, St Vincent de Paul Society, Soldier On, Starlight Children's Foundation and many more have recognised the value of The Wiggles early childhood principles, their ability to engage and communicate and the trust of their loyal and substantial audience.
In 2006, The Wiggles were awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Australian Catholic University and in 2009 they were awarded another honorary doctoral degree from their alma mater, Macquarie University. They were also named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors in 2008.
In 2010, Anthony and the other three original members of The Wiggles were appointed Members in the Order of Australia for their service to the arts in Australia, especially children's entertainment, and for their contributions and support of several charities.
In 2011, Anthony took on the role of Ambassador for the Australian Spinal Research Foundation and became a spokesman for Anaphylaxis Australia (his young son Antonio has an allergy to nuts and so Anthony is keen to encourage awareness of the importance of allergy management).
In addition to his public profile as the blue Wiggle, Anthony is internationally recognised as the host of the Australian television series RSPCA Animal Rescue. The show aired four series on the Seven Network, each episode successfully attracting an average audience of 1.6 million viewers.
Anthony also served as a member of Australia's regular army from 1982 until 1985 as an infantry soldier and a piper with the 5/7 Royal Australian Regiment at Holsworthy. He was recently awarded the Military Service Medal.
In recent years Anthony has developed a passion for fitness, in particular for gymnastics, acrobatics and cycling. This newfound interest enabled Anthony to continue his career as a Wiggle as he is now as fit as he has ever been in his adult life.
In February 2012, Anthony released his first book, How I Got My Wiggle Back, which tells his inspiring, behind-the-scenes story of how he overcame depression, illness and chronic pain to get his life back.
As far as Anthony is concerned, he'll continue wiggling as long as he is physically able.