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The AFL Administration

AT THE head of the AFL structure is the AFL Commission comprising 10 commissioners. They are Chairman Richard Goyder, AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan, Jason Ball, Paul Bassat, Robin Bishop, Professor Helen Milroy, Andrew Newbold, Gab Trainor, Simone Wilkie and Kim Williams.

The chief executive officer is appointed by the AFL Commission and is responsible for the operating performance of the AFL and the implementation of policy decided by the commission. He is also the public face of the commission.

Organisational structure

The AFL, under the Chief Executive, is divided into departments led by General Managers across each of these areas of executive responsibility.

GILLON McLACHLAN – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Gillon McLachlan has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Melbourne. Worked in a strategic role at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) that involved a variety of industries in different countries. This included a six-month contract in the Philippines. Joined the AFL in May 2000 as a strategic planner and was appointed General Manager Commercial Operations in November 2003 before taking on the additional areas of broadcasting and major projects in 2006. Was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2008 with responsibility for AFL broadcasting and digital media, fixturing, venue agreements and stadia infrastructure. Appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer in December 2012 and Chief Executive Officer (replacing Andrew Demetriou) on April 30, 2014.

Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting: Travis Auld.

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Auld joined the Essendon Football Club in 1997 and in December 2000 was appointed the club’s Chief Operating Officer, with responsibilities across strategy, commercial operations, football operations, financial management, governance, community relations and media.

Appointed inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Gold Coast Suns in June 2009. Led the development and implementation of the strategic plan to establish the club for its entry to the AFL competition in 2011.

After joining the AFL in September 2014, is now responsible for the industry’s finances, the relationship with the competition’s 18 clubs, the television and radio broadcaster partners, along with the fixturing process for both the national men’s and women’s competitions.

Holds a Bachelor of Business from La Trobe University and is an associate of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Institute of Company Directors.

General Manager, AFL Growth Digital and Audiences: Darren Birch

Has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Sports Administration) and has been in the AFL industry since 1998, having started his sports administration career as Membership and Ticketing Manager with the Brisbane Lions. He moved to the AFL in 2005 and joined Commercial Operations as AFL Membership Manager. Subsequently held the position of Manager – Consumer Business, which included management of AFL Membership, ticketing, club membership shared services and consumer products. Appointed Acting General Manager – Commercial Operations in August 2010 and promoted to the position full-time in December 2010. In 2015, the marketing, brand and insights divisions transitioned to form part of the Commercial Operations Department. In 2017, AFL Media, the AFL’s online and editorial arm controlling AFL.com.au and the respective social channels, became part of the Growth, Digital and Audience team, along with the AFL’s marketing department.

General Counsel, General Manager AFL Game Development: Andrew Dillon

Has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne and a post-graduate diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. Undertook Articled Clerkship at Corrs Chambers Westgarth in 1994 and was subsequently employed as a solicitor in Corrs’ Commercial Division. From October 1997 to August 2000, worked as in-house legal counsel at Village Roadshow Limited. Joined the AFL in August 2000 as Legal Counsel and was appointed General Manager – Legal and Business Affairs in July 2004. In December 2011, was appointed as General Manager of National and International Development and General Counsel. Appointed General Counsel, General Manager, Legal, Integrity and Compliance in 2013. In March 2017, in addition to the role of General Counsel, General Manager of Integrity and Compliance, Dillon took on the responsibility of Game Development, which sees him responsible for all the community and state football leagues, community and state football facilities and infrastructure, the relationships with all AFL state bodies, women’s football, the multicultural, indigenous and diversity portfolio and the AFL’s international game development strategy and implementation.

General Manager, AFL People: Sarah Fair

A HR professional and change management specialist, Fair was appointed to the AFL Executive in March 2017. Fair has extensive experience in driving sustainable change to create high-performing organisations with talented people, who love what they do, live and breathe the values and have the capability to deliver on what’s most important. She is also a Director of Melbourne Stadiums Limited, following the AFL’s acquisition of Marvel Stadium. Her previous experience includes Head of Diversity and Head of Culture at Australia Post, attracted by the prospect of working with talented people on one of Austral9ia’s largest, most complex transformational change agendas. Before joining Australia Post, Fair was a Senior Organisational Development Consultant at global management consulting firm Right Management, where she had the opportunity to work across a number of industries on key change projects including retail, fast-moving consumer goods, financial services, government, construction and mining. 

General Manager, Infrastructure, Major Projects and Investment: Ray Gunston

Has of Bachelor of Commerce (with honours) and a Diploma of Education, is a Fellow CPA and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Has had extensive experience as a senior executive and company director in a variety of industries. Has had executive roles with Westpac, Price Waterhouse, Aluminium Smelters of Victoria, Southern Cross Austereo, Essendon Football Club, the Victorian Government and more than 12 years as CFO of Tattersalls/Tatts Group. Gunston is a non-executive director of Sigma Healthcare and Hotel Property Investments. He is also Chairman of the Marvel Stadium Group of Companies now under AFL ownership. Previously held non-executive director roles with Essendon, AFL Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades, and was chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria.

General Manager, Football Operations: Steve Hocking

Hocking joined the AFL in October 2017 from the Geelong Cats, where he served as General Manager of Football on the club’s executive. Hocking’s football career saw him play 199 games primarily as a defender with the Cats from 1984-94, before retiring after the 1994 Grand Final. He appeared in two Grand Finals and was named the club’s most determined player four times, including three consecutive seasons from 1988-90. In 2004, he returned as match committee chairman, before resuming a full time role at the club, with experience across training services, team performance, commercial operations and football operations. The AFL Football Operations department portfolio covers the AFL and AFLW competitions, AFL Match Review and Tribunal system, the Laws of the Game, umpiring at the elite level, key talent pathways and elite coaching development programs.

General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy: Tanya Hosch.

Hosch has a long and distinguished history in indigenous policy, advocacy, governance and fundraising. Before joining the AFL as the first indigenous person and second woman in Executive ranks in August 2016, Hosch was the Joint Campaign Director of the Recognise movement for constitutional reform. Her role at the AFL includes implementing the AFL’s enhanced indigenous strategy, advising the AFL Indigenous Advisory Council, reviewing the Respect and Responsibility Policy and implementing the AFL’s Gender Action Plan. Hosch was appointed to the Indigenous Advisory Group of the NAB in 2016 and is a Board Director of the Indigenous Land Corporation, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute and a member of the Referendum Council. In addition, Hosch is the independent Chair of Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting.

General Manager, AFL Strategy: Walter Lee

Appointed General Manager – Strategy in March 2017. Lee was seconded to the AFL in 2009 to support stadium deal negotiations and assist with the establishment of two new expansion clubs. Since then, Lee has supported major strategic projects such as negotiations of media rights, AFL Players Collective Bargaining Agreement and establishment of the AFL Women’s competition. Lee runs the strategy team responsible for the development of the AFL’s long term strategic priorities and its insights data and analytics function. Before joining the AFL, Lee was a strategy consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton working in oil and gas, rail, telecommunications and government sectors. Lee holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with Melbourne Business School. 

General Manager, AFL Commercial Operations: Kylie Rogers

One of Australia’s leading commercial and media executives, having worked at Network Ten for 17 years in a number of rules, including National Commercial Director, and National Head of Generate, the network’s in-house content, strategy and integration agency. Rogers joined the AFL in December 2017 from Mamamia, Australia’s largest women’s media company. As Commercial Director and then Managing Director, she oversaw significant growth and profitability for the organisation in Australia and internationally. AFL Commercial Operations is responsible for the Corporate and Consumer Business Divisions, which included AFL membership, membership shared services, ticketing, licensed products, events, corporate hospitality and sponsorship and partnerships, which generate total AFL non-broadcast revenue of more than $200 million a year. 

Office of the CEO: Patrick Keane

Was a cadet reporter with Australian Associated Press in Sydney before joining the Melbourne office in 1987 to work on its sports desk. Was AAP’s national cricket correspondent from 1989-95, covering all home summers and tours in that period to India, New Zealand, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, England, South Africa and Pakistan. Joined the then-Australian Cricket Board in 1995 as media manager, primarily responsible for the Australian cricket team and the CEO, with a secondment to the ICC in 1998 to run the media operations at the first Champions Trophy in Bangladesh. Joined the AFL in early 1999 and worked as media manager for the AFL from 1999 to the 2018 Grand Final. Appointed to the office of the CEO in September 2018. Office of the CEO manages the AFL duties of the Commissioners and maintains the working relationships between the AFL Commission / Executive and the Clubs.

AFL Executive Committee

Gillon McLachlan (CEO), Travis Auld, Darren Birch, Andrew Dillon, Sarah Fair, Ray Gunston, Steve Hocking, Tanya Hosch, Walter Lee, Kylie Rogers, Patrick Keane.

AFL Indigenous Advisory Council

Paul Briggs (chair), Peter Yu (deputy chair), Xavier Clarke, Jason Glanville, Tanya Hosch, Walter Lee, Helen Milroy, Tanya Orman-Denning, Gabrielle Trainor AO, Kim Williams AM.

AFL SportsReady Ltd Board

The Hon Justin Madden AM (Chair), James Montgomery (CEO), Andrew Blair AM, Jude Donnelly, Steve Drummy, David Huggins, Madeline Penny, Nova Peris OAM, Ben Smith, Simone Wilkie AO.

AFL Audit and Risk Committee

Andrew Newbold (chair), Jason Ball, Robin Bishop, Richard Goyder AO.

AFL Remuneration Committee

Richard Goyder AO (chair), Paul Bassat, Robin Bishop, Sarah Fair, Simone Wilkie AO.

AFL Nominations Committee

Richard Goyder AO (chair), Paul Bassat, Glen Bartlett, Peggy O'Neal, Tony Shepherd.

AFL Investment Committee

Ray Gunston (chair), Travis Auld, Robin Bishop, Colin Carter, Rob Chapman, Simon Clarke, Richard Goyder AO, Walter Lee.

AFL Football Operations Sub-Committee

Steve Hocking (chair), Patrick Clifton, Jennie Loughnan, James Podsiadly, Nadine Rabah, Tristan Salter, Josh Vanderloo, Grant Williams.

AFL Tribunal

David Jones (chair), Ross Howie (deputy chair), Wayne Henwood, Michael Jamison, Jason Johnson, Stewart Loewe, Richard Loveridge, Sharelle McMahon, David Neitz, David Pittman, Michael Sexton, Shane Wakelin, Paul Williams, Patrick Clifton (secretary). 

AFL Competition Committee

Steve Hocking (chair), Jason Ball, Colin Carter, Patrick Dangerfield, Chris Davies, Andrew Fagan, Chris Fagan, Andrew Ireland, Nicole Livingstone, Steven May, Eddie McGuire, Brett Murphy, Peggy O’Neal, Justin Reeves, Kylie Rogers, Brad Scott, Craig Vozzo.

AFLW Competition Committee

Simone Wilkie AO (chair), Lauren Arnell, Kara Donnellan, Mark Evans, Phil Harper, Steve Hocking, Laura Kane, Debbie Lee, Cain Liddle, Nicole Livingstone, Alan McConnell, Brett Murphy, Todd Patterson, Peta Searle.

Appeals Board

Peter O’Callaghan QC (chair), Brian Bourke, Michael Green, Stephen Jurica, John Schultz, Patrick Clifton (secretary). 

Match Review Officer

Michael Christian.

AFL Grievance Tribunal

Professor Geoffrey Guidice AO (chair), Murray Kellam AO (deputy chair), David Maddocks, Michael Moncrieff, Kevin Power.

AFL Legal Counsel

Jeff Gleeson QC, Nick Pane QC, Renee Enbom, Andrew Woods.

Virgin Australia All-Australian & NAB AFL Rising Star Selectors

Gillon McLachlan(chair), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Steve Hocking, Danny Frawley, Glen Jakovich, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson, Kevin Sheehan (NAB AFL Rising Star only), Warren Tredrea, Brett Munro (secretary).

Australian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee

Richard Goyder AO (chair), Barry Cable, Dennis Cometti, Karen Lyon, Paul Marsh, Bruce McAvaney, David Parkin, Michelangelo Rucci, Col Hutchinson (statistics/history consultant), Patrick Clifton (secretary).

AFL Research Board

Patrick Clifton (chair), Mark Brayshaw, David Buttifant, Carl Dilena, Dr Peter Harcourt, Tim Harrington, Briana Harvey, Dr Michael Makdissi, Assoc Prof Colin McLeod, David Rath, Dr Anthony Schache, Tom Gastin (secretary).

AFL OHS Committee

Patrick Clifton (chair), James Gallagher, Brent Hedley, Tim Harrington, Cam Joyce, Clay Mackinnon, Laura Sigal, Tom Gastin (secretary). 

AFL Medical Director

Dr Peter Harcourt.

Secretaries / General Managers

1897-1929: Edwin Wilson

1929-56: Like McBrien, OBE

1956-76: Eric McCutchan, OBE

1977-84: Jack Hamilton, AM

1985-86: Alan Schwab 

Commissioner

1984-86: Jack Hamilton

Chair – Commission

1986-93: Ross Oakley

1993-97: John Kennedy

1998-2007: Ron Evans

2007-16: Mike Fitzpatrick

Since 2017: Richard Goyder

Executive Commissioner

1986-93: Alan Schwab

Chief Executive Officer

1994-96; Ross Oakley

1996-2003; Wayne Jackson

2003-14: Andrew Demetriou

Since 2014: Gillon McLachlan