Mr Harold Charles Mitchell AC is an Australian entrepreneur, media buyer, media commentator, humanitarian and philanthropist. Often cited as the most powerful man in Melbourne, Mr Mitchell has previously been the Executive Chairman of Aegis Media. In 1976, Mr Mitchell formed his own media buying company, Mitchell & Partners, pioneering the idea of an independent media agency. Mitchell & Partners is Australia’s largest independent communications group, recognised as one of the first specialist media agencies in the world. In 2007, he formed Australia’s largest independent communications group, Mitchell Communication Group, an award winning strategic communications firm.
Mr Mitchell is a prolific philanthropist using his wealth, initiative and expertise to give back to the Australian community. In December 2000, Mr Mitchell founded the Harold Mitchell Foundation which has donated more than $10 million to fund health, education and arts initiatives. Mr Mitchell has held various positions for a wide range of prestigious foundations, festivals and cultural and arts organisations in the broader community. To date, these have included being Chairman of CARE Australia and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,Chairman of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union team, Vice President of Tennis Australia, Chairman of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Board Member New York Philharmonic, President of the Melbourne Festival, President of the National Gallery of Australia and the Museums Board of Victoria, Director of Opera Australia and Non-Executive Director, Crown Limited.
Mr Mitchell’s relationship with RMIT dates back to 1961, where he enrolled in RMIT’s first advertising course. In December 2011, Mr Mitchell was awarded the highest accolade and honour from the University: the Honorary Doctorate – Doctor of Business Honoris Causa, made in recognition of Dr Mitchell’s outstanding contributions to the community.
During his impressive career, Mr Mitchell has also been awarded a number of prestigious awards and honours including the Richard Pratt Business Leader Award from the Australian Business Arts Foundation in recognition of excellence in arts leadership (2005), Victorian Australian of the Year (2013), the Centenary Medal for philanthropic support and leadership to the arts (at both Commonwealth and State levels) (2001) and became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 for his services as a benefactor and fundraiser in support of artistic and cultural endeavour.
In 2010 he was awarded the highest civilian honour; The Order of the Companion of Australia, for eminent service to the community through leadership and philanthropic endeavours in the fields of art, health and education, and as a supporter of humanitarian aid in Timor-Leste and Indigenous communities.
Mr Mitchell gives his time generously to RMIT students and frequently comments on issues that positively impact the lives of Australians.