The Hon Simon Crean, who was appointed as an Ambassador of the McKinnon Prize in 2020, had a long and distinguished career in politics. His courage and principled actions throughout his remarkable career earned him respect across the political spectrum, within unions, among parliamentary colleagues, and business leaders.
As Australia’s trade minister he excelled and worked to promote responsible investment, fostering job creation and skills development. Simon’s expertise spanned over fifty years in the Australian Labor movement, including his influential role as ACTU president during the Accord era.
Simon was well-known for his opposition to Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war, delivering one of the great political speeches by an Australian political leader in setting out his principled position.
Simon served as a cabinet minister during the four Labor governments of Hawke, Keating, Rudd, and Gillard, and this experience brought unique insights to his role of McKinnon Prize Ambassador. As the Ambassador from 2020 to 2022, Simon championed the values of the McKinnon Prize and contributed to its ongoing success in recognising outstanding leaders in Australian politics.
Simon leaves a legacy of remarkable leadership and a profound impact on Australian politics. His contributions will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.