Born in Deniliquin in south-western NSW, she later attended the University of Sydney. She is a member of several policy-setting and advice-giving groups including Skills Australia. Heather Ridout was also a member of the Henry Tax Review and chaired the Productivity and Prosperity Advisory Panel of the Population Strategy Task Force.
Heather Ridout has various other appointments including Director of the Australian Super Trustee Board and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. She member of the board of the Climate Change Authority.
In her former role with Ai Group, Ridout had a vigorous media presence, appearing on Network 10's Meet the Press programme, the ABC's Lateline and Q&A programmes, and various other radio and television shows. In November 2011, Ridout gave a televised address to the National Press Club of Australia on the choices Australia faces and challenges we need to confront to create a positive agenda and a positive future for the nation.
Heather Ridout is also an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.
- "Hard-nosed defender of industry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 November 2011.
- "Innes Willox to fill Heather Ridout's shoes at AIG". The Australian. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
- "Henry Tax Review". Australian Industry Group. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Heather Ridout CV" (pdf). AiGroup. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "The AustralianSuper Trustee Board is made up of six member representatives and six employer representatives.". Australian Super. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "About". ARACY. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Greg Combet (21 June 2012). "Strong Board appointed for Climate Change Authority". Media Release. Australian Government. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- "Meet the Press" (PDF). Network 10. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Q&A Panellist". ABC. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Ali Moore speaks with Heather Ridout". ABC television. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Heather Ridout: high AUD could be a disaster for Australia". Radio National. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Taking Charge of our Future". Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "Queen's Birthday honours list 2013". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.