Simon O’Connor

Simon O’Connor is Adviser (North Asia) in the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He provides policy support for the Prime Minister’s engagement in North Asia as well as coordination and coherence in international policy making and implementation across government. Prior to joining the department, he completed a three-year posting in the political team of the Australian High Commission in New Delhi. In his role, he focused on India’s foreign policy and strengthening cooperation between India and Australia, particularly in the areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism and security as well as supporting cooperation in multilateral and regional fora. While in India, he served as Chair of Australia’s Direct Aid Program – a grants-based program to support the valuable work of civil society organisations in communities across northern India and Bhutan. He led the design and implementation of the High Commission’s #Development4All campaign to promote inclusive development for people living with disabilities in India. The campaign promoted inclusive development discourse and showcased projects, often implemented with Australian partners, which delivered tangible benefits to their communities. The campaign supported the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between Australia and India in the disability sector in 2018. Simon is passionate about supporting the India-Australia relationship reach its full potential. Links between business, research, civil society, people and communities are key to driving the partnership forward beyond.