Australian Simon McKeon shows the way for philanthropy

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SYDNEY - While most of us find it too cumbersome to take up any social work, citing compulsions of our over-demanding regular jobs, Australian Simon Mckeon is the person we can look forward to for some inspiration.

For dedicating himself to social causes at home and abroad part-time while working as a high-flying investment banker, Simon Mckeon, 55, has been chosen as the Australian of the Year for 2011.

The Victorian businessman was a leading social entrepreneur who showed business and philanthropy could go hand in hand, The Australian reported the Australia Day Council as saying Tuesday.

The Macquarie Bank executive chairman and recently appointed CSIRO chairman has worked part-time since 1994, allowing him to focus on charity work. He is also director of the Global Poverty Project, chairman of Business for Millennium Development, and is involved with Red Dust Role Models, which works with remote indigenous communities.

Solo sailor Jessica Watson, 17, has been named Young Australian of the Year, while disabilities campaigner Ron McCallum is Senior Australian of the Year.

Ms Watson, from Queensland, shot to fame after her unassisted circumnavigation of the globe when she was just 16.

McCallum is the first blind person to be appointed to a full professorship at an Australian university. The founding professor of industrial law at the University of Sydney has worked tirelessly to advance the interests of the blind.

The trio received their awards in Canberra Monday night with Australia’s Local Hero for 2011, Donald Ritchie, who saved over 160 people from committing suicide at the Sydney landmark The Gap.

Filed under: Society

will not be displayed