Sydney Opera House
In August 2012, Louise Herron became the Sydney Opera House’s seventh CEO and the first woman appointed to the position. The Sydney Opera House has a central role in Australian identity and continues to make a significant contribution to the country’s economy and culture.
Louise has led development of the Opera House Renewal Framework to scope and prioritise building projects for the next decade to meet the needs and expectations of 21st-century artists, audiences and visitors.
As a consequence, in February 2015, the NSW Government announced a $202 million commitment to fund the first Renewal projects, including upgrades to the main Concert Hall acoustics, theatre machinery and accessibility; a new Creative Learning Centre; a new premium Function Centre; and upgrades of all entry points and foyers to improve the visitor experience.
Louise is passionate about the transformative power of philanthropy and early in her tenure launched a group of 100 visionary donors, The Idealists, who have enabled a wide range of programs and acquisition of a Le-Corbusier Utzon tapestry.
A lawyer, linguist and corporate advisor, Louise’s 30-year career prior to the Sydney Opera House spanned senior roles in the law, business and the arts.She worked as an investment banker and private equity director with Wentworth Associates, Investec and Carnegie Wylie before co-founding the boutique firm Ironbark Corporate Advisory in 2007. Prior to her secondment to Macquarie Bank in 2000, she was a Senior Partner at Minter Ellison. She also chaired Belvoir Street Theatre from 2002 to 2012, through a period of unprecedented change for the company.
Throughout her career, Louise has supported and enabled high-performing women within the organisations where she has held leadership roles. Since joining the Sydney Opera House, she has achieved a 50-50 gender balance at executive levels and established a new festival, All About Women, sharing inspiring stories from local and international voices.