Simon Smith

Simon Smith


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Simon offers an extraordinary breadth of public policy and leadership experience. His experience centres on innovation and reform, particularly where business meets government and the economy meets the environment. He has led large and small organisations; focusing on economic and skills development, natural resource management, environment, infrastructure, regulation, policy and implementation. Simon has extensive experience in top-level government decision-making, policy development, commercial negotiations and building organisational capabilities. He is also a trusted adviser in challenging situations, helping to restore confidence and address underlying issues.

Influential work

  • Led the innovative assessment and successful negotiation of unsolicited proposals for the New South Wales (NSW) Government, including the Crown Resort at Barangaroo and Transurban’s Northconnex motorway
  • Developed a new approach to job creation for government; including establishing Jobs for NSW, an innovative private/public sector organisation that replaced traditional grants with loans and equity investments
  • Negotiated successfully with Shenhua and Metgasco to buy back controversial coal and gas exploration rights, following a change to government resources policy
  • Led a reset of water allocation compliance by establishing a new independent regulator, addressing a legacy of underperformance and reputational damage
  • Built a collaborative working culture that enabled agency leaders to come together and deliver mutual benefits, erasing traditional rivalry
  • Steered implementation of controversial vocational education reform; avoiding cost blow-outs, student rip-offs and business failures that occurred in other jurisdictions
  • Designed and implemented Australia’s first emissions trading scheme, its largest polluter-pays incentives for industry and the world’s most advanced biodiversity conservation offset system.

Outside of Nous

Before joining Nous, Simon served as secretary of the NSW Department of Industry; responsible for vocational education, economic development and job creation, agriculture and natural resource management, water allocation, crown land, regulation of liquor and gaming and tourism growth. He has also served on the boards of Infrastructure NSW, Destination NSW, Jobs for NSW and the US Studies Centre.

Simon holds a Bachelor Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Economics) from The University of Newcastle.

In his spare time...

Simon enjoys road cycling, bushwalking, carpentry, farming and military history.