Australia Day

26 January 2015

283 days to go

Simon McKeon AO

Simon McKeon is Executive Chairman of Macquarie Group’s Melbourne office and specialises in mergers and acquisitions.

He was the 2011 Australian of the Year.

Simon has degrees in Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne and prior to joining Macquarie, practised as a solicitor with Blake Dawson Waldron in Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was the 2011 ABF Australian Banking Ambassador of the Year.

In 2010, Simon was appointed by the Federal Government as the Chairman of CSIRO.

He was Chairman of the Federal Government’s Panel conducting a Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research during 2012.

Simon has been awarded the 2014 Academy Medal by the Australian Academy of Science which recognises outstanding contributions to science other than through scientific research.

He is an Australia Day Ambassador for the Victorian Government.

He is Chairman of Business for Millennium Development which is focussed on encouraging business to pursue opportunities in the developing world.  He also serves on the Federal Government’s AusAID Business Engagement Steering Committee.

He also serves on the Board of Red Dust Role Models which connects well known Australians with indigenous youth.

Simon is a member of the Big Issue Advisory Board and served on the Advisory Board for Melbourne’s successful tender for the 2008 Homeless World Cup.  He has also been Chairman of Essendon Football Club’s Hutchison Foundation and Patron of Melbourne’s successful tender for the 2009 World Parliament of Religions.

He is a Director of the Global Poverty Project Inc. and Chairman of Global Poverty Project Australia which are responsible for the “Live Below the Line” and “1.4 Billion Reasons” campaigns.

Simon served on the Board of UK based VisionFund which has responsibility for World Vision International’s micro economic development activities and also serves on the Federal Government’s Human Rights Grants Scheme Advisory Panel. He was also a Patron for the United Nations Year of Microcredit 2005 (Australian Committee). Simon served on the Board of World Vision Australia from 1994 until 2005 and prior to this was a Director of the Archbishop of Melbourne’s Relief and Development Fund.

He was appointed by the Federal Government as the Founding President of the Australian Takeovers Panel and served from 1999 until 2010.

Simon was the Founding Chair of MS Research Australia from 2004 until 2010 and has also previously served on the Boards of MS Australia and MS Victoria.  In 2010, Simon received the John Studdy Award which is MS Australia’s highest honour.  He currently serves as Patron of MS Research Australia and as an Ambassador for National Disability Services (Victoria) and also serves as a member of the Victorian Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme Implementation Task Force.

Simon served as a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the University of Melbourne’s Graduate Program in Law. He has also been a part time lecturer with the University’s Masters of Applied Finance and Masters of Laws courses and has been a member of the Advisory Board of the University’s Centre for Energy and Resources Law. He has also been on the Editorial Board of the Company & Securities Law Journal since 1988 and has responsibility for its Takeovers Section.

Simon served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria from 2005 until 2008. He has previously served on the Victorian Rhodes Scholarship Committee, the Council of St Leonard’s College and the Board of Beaconhills Christian College.

Simon served as Chairman of the Federal Government’s Point Nepean Community Trust from 2004 until 2009 and has been the Business Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour initiative and an Ambassador for Parks Victoria’s Healthy Parks Healthy People International Congress 2010.

He was also Chairman of MYOB from 2006 until 2009.

Simon is the helmsman of Macquarie Innovation which in March 2009 became the first sailboat in the world to sustain more than 50 knots and in so doing, peaked at a speed of 100 kmh (54 knots).  Previously he was the helmsman of the Yellow Pages Endeavour which held the outright world sailing speed record between 1993 and 2004.

He was also the helmsman for Australia’s Little America’s Cup syndicate which held the trophy from 1985 until 1996. He is a Founding Patron of the Australian Olympic Sailing Team which won 2 gold and a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 3 gold and a silver medal (and was the leading sailing nation) at the 2012 London Olympics. Simon sails out of McCrae Yacht Club and served as Club Captain from 2004 until 2006.