Simon’s distinguished career includes being named as one of AFR Boss’ True Leaders for the 21st century, with Carol Schwartz noting; "I don’t know one CEO or chairman in corporate Australia who has not worked with Simon Longstaff". Simon began his working life on Groote Eylandt (Anindilyakwa) in the Northern Territory where he worked in the Safety Department of the then BHP subsidiary, GEMCO. He is proud of his kinship ties with members of the island’s Indigenous community.
Following a period studying law in Sydney and a brief career teaching in Tasmania, Simon undertook post-graduate studies in philosophy as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1991, Simon became the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and, in June 2016, was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University based at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. Formerly, Simon served as the inaugural President of The Australian Association for Professional & Applied Ethics and as a Fellow of the World Economic Forum. Simon now serves on a number of boards and committees across a broad spectrum of activities.