Jon left school in Wollongong at 16 to begin to learn the art of mountaineering on the glaciated mountains of New Zealand. He then made nine expeditions to the Himalaya and 33 to the Andes, climbing new routes of extreme difficulty and reached the summit of Everest alone in 1988, making the first Sherpa-less ascent from the south.

In the 1990's Jon's career diversified with sea kayaking, polar traversing and desert trekking. He made a new route to the South Pole and an unsupported walk to the North Pole. Jon has made many desert journeys, culminating in the first unsupported traverse of Australia and also to the Geographic Center of Australia. The first Australian to have climbed Everest and to trek to both poles, Jon was awarded the Order of Australia in 1989 and the Centenary Medal in 2001. in 2017 Jon was awarded the Lifetime of Adventure award from the Australian Geographic Society.

Jon started filming in 1984 and SUZY & THE SIMPLE MAN is his sixth film.