John Elliott was born in Melbourne in 1941. He was educated at Carey Grammar School and Melbourne University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and a Master of Business Administration. Mr. Elliott joined BHP for two years. He then joined McKinsey and Company Inc., and worked on projects in Australia and the United States for six years.
In 1972 John Elliott formed a private equity consortium and raised $30 million for the acquisition of Henry Jones (IXL) Ltd, a major food processor.
In November 1981 Elder Smith Goldsbrough Mort Limited merged with Henry Jones to form Elders IXL Limited, and John Elliott was appointed Managing Director. In December 1983 the company acquired Carlton and United Breweries Limited for just under $1 billion.. The acquisition of Courage Breweries in the U.K. in September 1985, followed by Carling O’Keefe Breweries in Canada in 1987, and U.K. based Grand Metropolitan brewing interests in 1990, made the Group the fourth largest brewer in the world.
Mr. Elliott presided over the reconstruction of Elders IXL in 1990 as a single purpose brewing company and then stepped down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to pursue his own private business interests. He operates business activities in Eastern Europe and exports Australian agricultural products around the world. He also evaluates new business ideas and helps such businesses raise seed money prior to going to market.
John Elliott played 250 games of Australian Rules football for his old school until his mid 30′s, and was President of Carlton Football Club for twenty years from 1983 to 2002. In that period Carlton made the finals 12 times, played in 5 grand finals and won 2 premierships. He has a well-documented interest in politics, having been a member of the Liberal Party for over thirty five years. He became Federal President of the Party late in 1987, having previously occupied the position of Federal Treasurer and State Treasurer and Vice President in Victoria. He was Chairman of the 500 Club for 20 years, which he formed 25 years ago, and it is the biggest donor to the Liberal Party in Victoria. He was inaugural Chairman of the Committee for Melbourne, and is a major benefactor of the University of Melbourne Business School. He has been a director of a number of public companies including BHP, National Mutual Life Association, Bridge Oil Limited, and North Limited.