Heather, who was born in England but raised in Whyalla, will return to Adelaide from England where she has been the Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Sheffield International Documentary Festival since 2006. While at the helm, Heather rebuilt the struggling documentary festival and transformed it into one of the most influential and highly acclaimed documentary festivals of its kind in the world.
Adelaide Fringe Chair David Minear said the Adelaide Fringe Board was delighted to have lured Heather back home to take on the highly-sought after position.
“Replacing current Director and CEO Greg Clarke was always going to be a big ask but in Heather Croall, the Adelaide Fringe has found a very strong answer,” Mr Minear said.
“Heather is an exciting, ideas-rich entrepreneur and leader with a proven arts track record. She understands the power of team and setting a clear vision. She also has a wicked sense of fun. Heather now has the wonderful opportunity to stamp her finger prints on the look, the flavour, the texture and destiny of this much-loved South Australian event.”
Heather will replace out-going Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Greg Clarke who will oversee his fifth Fringe this year. She has also run Adelaide Fringe events in previous years, and is excited and honoured to take the Fringe into its next chapter.
“After living in the UK for nearly a decade, I am absolutely over the moon to know that I am coming home to South Australia to take up this amazing job,” she said.
“Greg Clarke has done a phenomenal job at the Adelaide Fringe in recent years and I am inheriting a festival that is in great shape. I ‘m looking forward to expanding areas of the Fringe especially around new and emerging art forms while also protecting the brilliant work of the Fringe directors before me.
“I can’t wait to be given the chance to transform the landscape of Adelaide and beyond with weird, wonderful and surprising works in the most unexpected places. It is thrilling to run a festival that attracts so many visitors from around the world and Australia but most of all, it is exciting to present the Fringe for the people of Adelaide who love to see their city buzzing.”
In November last year, the Sheffield Hallam University awarded Heather an Honorary Doctorate for services to film and culture. In 2013, the Alliance of Women of Film Journalists named her Ambassador of Women’s Films for her work “to boost documentary film and open opportunities for women filmmakers”.
Heather was the Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference from 2003-06 and was the recipient of the Australian Film Commission Fellowship Program in 2005.
Heather will officially take up the role at the conclusion of this year’s Fringe which runs from 13 February until 15 March. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.au for details.
Image: Heather Croall – photo by Jacqui Bellamy