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Harold Mitchell AC

b. 1942

Harold Mitchell AO (b. 1942), businessman and philanthropist, left his home town of Stawell at seventeen to become an office boy in a Melbourne advertising agency. At twenty-four he became the media manager at USP Needham, and at thirty-three he was running the media buying operations of Masius Wynne Williams. In 1976 he opened pioneering research- and analysis-focused media company Mitchell and Partners. In 2007 he sold Mitchell and Partners and formed the media-buying concern the Mitchell Communication Group, which now has an annual turnover of more than a billion dollars. In late 2000 he launched the philanthropic Harold Mitchell Foundation. Mitchell has presided over a plethora of boards including the Asthma Foundation of Victoria (1993 - 2003), the Melbourne International Arts Festival (1994 - 2001), the National Gallery of Australia (1998 - 2005), the Museums Board of Victoria (2001- 2008), and Opera Australia (1999 - 2009). He has also been Chair or Director of Art Exhibitions Australia, Rebels Rugby, Tennis Australia and CARE Australia. He received an honorary doctorate in law from Deakin University in 2002, and in 2011 was named Melbournian of the Year to in recognition of his contribution to Melbourne's arts, health and education sectors.

Updated 2018