Heather Croall


Heather Croall is an experienced CEO and director known as a visionary in the creative sector who delivers innovative festival programs, new audiences and organisational growth.

She has specific expertise in partner engagement and capital acquisition. With an international career in film, TV and the arts, Heather has a strong track record in implementing organisational change and capacity building. She has transitioned a number of creative sector organisations into the digital age.

Heather has a reputation for generating new income streams and delivering excellent management of stakeholder relations. Under her leadership, every festival she has run has seen an increase in turnover, been met with high critical acclaim, delivered growth in ticket sales and expanded audience demographic.

She became Director and CEO of the Adelaide Fringe – the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual arts festival and the second-largest Fringe in the world after Edinburgh – ahead of the 2016 festival, and since then has overseen a digital transformation including new ticketing and artist registration systems.

Over the past three festivals under Heather’s leadership, Adelaide Fringe’s ticket sales have grown by 16 percent (from 604,000 in 2016 to 705,761 in 2018) and box office revenue has increased by 11 per cent (from $14.8 million to $16.6 million). After the 2016 festival, Heather set a target of tripling visitor numbers to the Adelaide Fringe by 2022 and she is on her way to achieving this with last year’s Fringe attracting 20,244 visitors – up from 18,655 in 2017.

Heather was awarded a Fellowship in Interactive Media by Screen Australia in 2005. In 2013, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists named Heather Ambassador of Women’s Film for her work in creating opportunities for women documentary makers.

Heather was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Sheffield Hallam University, UK, in 2014, and just last year she received the Ambassador Award from the Governor’s Aboriginal Employment Industry Clusters Program in recognition of her contribution setting up and serving as the inaugural Chair of the Arts and Culture Cluster.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Running a Fringe Festival: The Adelaide Experience

Posted by IAFOR