Simon McKeon, an investment banker and former Blake Dawson Waldron (now Blake Dawson) lawyer, has been named Australian of the Year.
Joining McKeon as a Blake Dawson alumnus is equal rights campaigner Professor Ron McCallum AO, who was named Senior Australian of the Year.
While building a successful career as an investment banker at Macquarie Group, McKeon also supported a number of Australian and international charities.
Graduating with degrees in commerce and law from the University of Melbourne, McKeon practised as a solicitor at Blake Dawson Waldron in Sydney in the early 1980s, before making the move to Macquarie Bank.
The executive chairman of Macquarie Group's Melbourne office, McKeon decided in 1994 to transition into a part-time role as executive chairman, enabling him to devote more time to a range of causes and organisations, including as a board member of World Vision Australia.
Currently the chairman of the CSIRO and Business for Millennium Development, which encourages business to engage with the developing world, McKeon recently retired as founding chairman of MS Research Australia and founding president of the Federal Government's Takeover Panel.
He has served as a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the University of Melbourne's law graduate program and has also been a part-time lecturer with the University's Masters of Applied Finance and Masters of Laws programs.
Professor McCallum, the first totally blind person to have been appointed a full professorship at an Australian university, has avidly pursued equal rights for working people throughout his career.
McCallum joined Blake Dawson in 1994 as a consultant to the firm's employment practice and later became special counsel to the group until 2000.
Spending five years as the dean of the University of Sydney's faculty of law from 2002, McCallum was also the Blake Dawson Waldron professor in industrial law at the university from 1993 to 2007 and a professor of labour law until December last year.