Sydney Opera House Appoints Aus Council Chair As CEO

29 June 2012 | 10:55 am | Scott Fitzsimons

Louise Herron was also Chair of the Belvoir St Theatre for ten years.

Louise Herron has been named the new CEO of the Sydney Opera House. Herron has been Chair of the Australia Council's Major Performing Arts Board since June 2011 and prior to had had chaired the Belvoir St Theatre for ten years.

She is the first woman appointed to the Chief Executive role since the venue opened in 1973, although Sue Nattrass was acting CEO for a period in 2007.

The Opera House employed executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates for an "extensive" local and international search.

New South Wales Minister for the Arts George Souris said today, "I welcome Louise and look forward to her stewardship of this iconic building and one of the world's great institutions, at a time when Sydney Opera House is more popular than ever."

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Herron added, “Sydney Opera House has built an enviable reputation as a cultural and tourism destination. We will be working to continue to improve Sydney Opera House, both as a building and for the experiences it offers, particularly at this time when new attendances are increasing dramatically.”

Trust Chairman Kim Williams welcomed Herron also. "Louise understands that Sydney Opera House faces unique challenges as a high-profile, World Heritage-Listed cultural and tourism destination with seven venues, ongoing major construction works, and diverse business streams. I know that she relishes the challenge to fully realise the opportunities Sydney Opera House presents.

"On behalf of the Trust and all who work at Sydney Opera House, I would also like to give special thanks to Mr Jonathan Bielski who has acted in the CEO role since late February.

“He has led the many hardworking teams at Sydney Opera House with dedication and sensitivity. Jonathan will continue to act as CEO until Ms Herron commences in August then he will return to his significant role directing all our programming activities as Executive Producer, Sydney Opera House Presents.”

The Opera House's Head Of Contemporary Fergus Linehan was recently named as one of the 50 most powerful people in the music industry in the AMID Power 50.