New Feast Festival CEO has big plans for Adelaide’s pride event

New CEO Tish Naughton and other leaders of Feast Festival wave a rainbow flag
Image: Naomi Jellicoe

Adelaide’s Feast Festival have celebrated the appointment of a new CEO, making the big announcement during International Lesbian Visibility Week this week.

Feast Festival is South Australia’s not-for-profit Queer Arts and Cultural Festival, one of Australia’s major LGBTQIA+ festivals.

Every November, Feast brings together LGBTQIA+ artists and community members to celebrate all things Pride.

Tish Naughton (pictured above, centre), a proud lesbian woman, is the new CEO of Adelaide’s Feast Festival. She said she’s excited for the opportunity to guide Feast as a queer-run event.

“Feast has had wonderful leadership in the past and I’m excited to stand up for the LGBTQIA+ community whom I am a proud member of, and guide this vibrant and promising festival to ensure it flourishes in the future,” she says.

“Now more than ever we need a strong Feast Festival. We’ve come so far, but that progress cannot be taken for granted.

“Feast has had a wonderful 25 years and achieved so much for our community, and we need to honour that, as we move forward into the next 25 years.

“We must continue the fight for representation, visibility and celebration.”

‘A jewel in our very colourful crown’

Feast Festival chair Adam Gardnir (above, far left) said Tish Naughton was selected through a nationally competitive process, and was the standout candidate.

Naughton is “a visionary leader, and brings a wealth of experience in business and financial management including a decade of owning and operating small businesses in the financial and retail sector.”

She is also an award-winning entrepreneur, having been named a finalist in the Business Blueprint Female Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2015, and in the Shoestring 2014 Top 50 Australian Female Entrepreneurs Under 40, and Anthill Australia’s Top 30 Under-30 Entrepreneurs in 2013. She also won the In-Business Young Business Leader of the Year in 2011.

Tish has been Feast Festival’s Operations Manager since February 2023.

Adam Gardnir said, “Tish is an inspirational business leader who has an ambitious vision for Feast Festival and proven abilities to achieve it.

“I believe Tish’s future-focus will open Feast up to new communities and I invite all members of our wonderful rainbow and our allies to get in contact.”

He says, “Feast is a strong and diverse festival with a boundless future ahead of it, particularly now with Tish Naughton in the CEO role. Our new CEO is a jewel in our very colourful crown.

“I’d like to personally thank Feast Ambassadors Charlotte Coulthard-Dare and Will Seargent for assisting the board and I in selecting Tish.”

Feast Festival celebrated its 25th birthday in 2022, and the festival will return to Adelaide in November.

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