Professional Bio

Simon Longstaff began his working life on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory of Australia. He is proud of his kinship ties to the Anindilyakwa people. After a period studying law in Sydney and teaching in Tasmania, he pursued postgraduate studies as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1991, Simon commenced his work as the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre. In 2013, he was made an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to the community through the promotion of ethical standards in governance and business, to improving corporate responsibility, and to philosophy.” Simon is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University, a Fellow of CPA Australia, the Royal Society of NSW and the Australian Risk Policy Institute. He serves on a number of Boards and Committees and as Independent Integrity Adviser to the Australian Taxation Office.

What inspires you about the work that you do?

People. I am inspired by their openness and generosity in sharing their thoughts and feelings with me. I am inspired by our common frailty in the midst of uncertainty – and the fact that this need not be overwhelming. I am inspired by the opportunity to continue learning about our brilliant, troubling, contradictory, maddeningly beautiful form of being – simultaneously the most creative and destructive creature on earth; a source of wonder and dread. If I can help people to fall ‘just the right side’ of each question, then I play a small role in making a better future.