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Russel Howcroft Re-appointed as AFTRS Chair and Fremantle CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor Joins Council

Russel Howcroft; Chris Oliver-Taylor

AFTRS Council Chair Russel Howcroft has been re-appointed for a second three-year term, commencing 1 July.

Mr Howcroft has extensive experience in the screen industry. He was the Executive General Manager of Network Ten and has served on a number of boards and foundations which focus on arts and film, including the Australian Film Institute and the Screen Forever Advisory Board.

In 2016, Mr Howcroft was the founding Chair of Think TV, a collaborative initiative between Australian free-to-air and subscription television broadcasters to promote television’s scale and effectiveness for advertisers across all screens.

Mr. Howcroft was the inaugural Chief Creative Officer at PwC Australia. He has also served as the Chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia and Chief Executive Officer of leading advertising agency George Patterson Y&R and been a regular panellist on The Gruen Transfer.

In August he begins a new role co-hosting 3AW’s Breakfast program with Ross Stephenson.

As a leader in the creative industries, Mr Howcroft has a strong understanding of working in the media and creative entrepreneurship in both the private and public sectors which will be invaluable for the Council.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said: “I am delighted that Russel Howcroft is continuing as Chair of AFTRS. Mr Howcroft has significant creative industry experience and in his role as Chair he is making a valuable contribution to the education of Australia’s emerging screen and broadcast practitioners.”

Joining the AFTRS Council from July 1 is Chris Oliver-Taylor, Fremantle CEO Asia-Pacific

“We are delighted to have the brilliant Chris Oliver-Taylor join the Council. He brings incredible energy and enthusiasm – and he’s going to make a really significant contribution to Council and the school,” Mr Howcroft said.

Mr Oliver-Taylor was previously Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures from 2011-2018. During his tenure at Matchbox Pictures, the company commissioned The Real Housewives franchise for Foxtel, 7 Types of Ambiguity and Barracuda for the ABC, and Safe Harbour and Date My Race for SBS. Matchbox won 20 AACTA Awards, an International Emmy, nine Logies and nine Screen Producers of Australia Awards with Chris at the helm. Prior to joining Matchbox, Chris was the ABC’s Head of Production, with overall responsibility for the production and delivery of the entire ABC TV slate as well as the financial management, business affairs, scheduling and broadcast operations of ABC TV. He began his career at the BBC in London, working on the Top of the Pops, The Generation Game, Match of the Day and Westminster Live. He currently sits on the Boards of Film Victoria, MediaRing and the Fremantle Global Board.