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Former GC named as AFL’s new CEO

The former AFL general counsel, Andrew Dillon, has been appointed as chief executive officer of the AFL.

user iconJess Feyder 02 May 2023 Big Law
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Yesterday (1 May), the AFL Commission announced that Mr Dillon, a long-serving AFL executive, has been appointed CEO. 

Mr Dillon succeeds Gillon McLachlan, and he will officially take over as CEO from 2 October this year. 

Mr Dillon began his legal practice at Corrs Chambers Westgarth in 1994 and worked as an in-house legal counsel at Village Roadshow Limited until he joined the AFL as a legal counsel in 2000.


At the AFL, he held the role of general manager for legal and business affairs and was appointed general counsel in 2011.

In 2013, Mr Dillon was appointed general manager of legal, integrity and compliance, in addition to his role as legal counsel. In 2017, he also was given the responsibility of game development. 

AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder AO welcomed the appointment, noting that Mr Dillon has been involved in virtually every major decision across the AFL for many years. 

“Andrew has been a key leader and voice in every decision we have made as an organisation for many years, and he brings not only experience across both elite and community football but also a key involvement in our major broadcast and partnership deals and in developing and shaping the AFL’s response to a number of key social issues,” Mr Goyder stated.

“We are really pleased to appoint Andrew to the CEO role and know he will expertly guide the industry to a new era of growth.”

In his term, Mr Dillon will evaluate the broader structure of the AFL organisation to set up for the next era, including an enhanced focus on ensuring the game remains affordable and accessible for fans.

He will also aim to ensure community football, umpiring and the AFLW competition remains a strong focus.

Mr Goyder said the recruitment process for the role was competitive, and a number of excellent candidates were identified, both from within the football industry and externally, but the AFL Commission believed that Mr Dillon had the best mix of leadership, skills and knowledge to lead the AFL. 

Mr Dillon said it was an incredible honour to take on the role of CEO after 23 years working with the organisation.

“I am honoured and truly humbled to lead the greatest game in the world into its next phase,” Mr Dillon said.

“Football has been a defining part of my life, and it is a privilege to be able to lead the industry in ensuring our game remains relevant, accessible and welcoming to all Australians.

“Every touch point in footy should be a positive and memorable one, from attending a match, to a parent signing their child up for Auskick for the first time, a player being drafted, or a community umpire debuting on a Saturday afternoon.”

Mr Dillon continued: “It is really important that we are a game for everyone, a game that is accessible, affordable and safe and a game where everyone feels welcome.”

“The elite game across both men’s and women’s will be more entertaining, more spectacular and more popular than ever and will be played by the best and most diverse athletes — our mission is to be unrivalled in comparison to other sports and to develop a growing global interest.”

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