Track us
donate to charity
The Patron

Simon McKeon – Australian of the Year 2011

Simon McKeon personally supported Nadiya’s Challenge prior to receiving the prestigious award of Australian of the Year 2011 and becoming Nadiya’s Challenge patron.

Simon is married to Amanda Jane and they have four sons.
He has championed causes close to his heart for the betterment of not only of those less fortunate but also has a passion for environmental issues as well.

He is a genuine individual with the capacity to assist wherever he can in not only charities, but in developing awareness of many issues that people in their day to day lives may overlook.

Simon’s ability to infuse business and passion have enabled him to be a leader and assist charities and environmental matters that are close to his heart.

His passion and leadership has lead him to be involved in a myriad of activities as outlined below.


  • Executive Chairman of Macquarie Group’s Melbourne office and specialises in mergers and acquisitions

  • Degrees in Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne and prior to joining Macquarie, practiced as a solicitor with Blake Dawson Waldron in Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and also of FINSIA.

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

  • Australia Day Ambassador for the Victorian Government.

  • Chairman of Business for Millennium Development which is focused on encouraging business to pursue opportunities in the developing world. He also serves on the Board of Red Dust Role Models which connects well known Australians with indigenous youth.

  • Director of the Global Poverty Project which is responsible for the "1.4 Billion Reasons” campaign.

  • Simon is 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.

  • 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 Ambassador for National Disability Services - Victoria.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

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 Ambassador for National Disability Services - Victoria.

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.

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.