Lifetime of Conservation award: Bob Brown

By AG Society 19 June 2012
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The Australian Geographic Society’s Lifetime of Conservation award goes to stalwart Greens politician Bob Brown.

THERE’S NO DOUBT that Bob Brown is one of Australia’s most prominent conservation figureheads, but the Australian Geographic Society also applauds his endurance. For over 40 years he has stood on the frontline of big conservation battles. In the year that he steps away from federal politics, the AG Society is pleased recognise his contribution with our Lifetime of Conservation medallion.

Rising out of shaky beginnings – working on the unsuccessful campaign to stop the flooding Tasmania’s Lake Pedder – Bob spearhead the widely publicised and successful Franklin River campaign. He joined the political fray in 1983 in the Tasmanian Parliament and went on into federal politics founding the Greens in 1992, leading the party until his resignation last month.

He first featured in AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC’S pages in issue 3 when, while acting as a member of the Tasmanian Parliament, he helped investigate over 250 thylacine sightings. His words about one of his own pet projects and the parting shot of the 1986 feature on the hunt for the thylacine speaks volumes about why he’s achieved so much: “Here we’ve been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and find the tiger when it’s extinct. Why not use that money to save species that are now nearly extinct?