Global Perspectives Guest Speaker
Bob Brown has an extraordinary history of leading successful, peaceful protests to protect Earth's living biosphere. As leader of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, he spent 17 days in a Tasmanian prison for standing against the bulldozers preparing to dam Tasmania's wild Franklin River in 1982-3. He emerged from prison as Australian of the Year and was, the following day, elected into the Tasmanian parliament. In July 1983 Australia's High Court ruled in favour of upholding the World Heritage Convention, the dam works were stopped, and the Franklin has become one of the world's top whitewater rafting adventures.
Bob graduated from Sydney University in 1967 and moved to Tasmania in 1972 to practice medicine. In 1990, after winning an inaugural Goldman Environmental Prize, Bob set up Bush Heritage Australia, patterned on Nature Conservancy in the USA. BHA now owns and protects one million hectares of wildlife-rich Australian lands.
From 1996 to 2012 Bob represented Tasmania in the Australian Senate where he championed progressive climate change laws, gay rights, and wilderness protection. From 2012-14 Bob chaired Sea Shepherd Australia (SSA) as it helped defeat plans for the world's biggest gas-extraction factory on Australia's wild Kimberley coast, so saving the world's biggest humpback whale nursery as well as important Aboriginal sites including coastal dinosaur tracks.
In 2012 Bob set up his fast-growing Bob Brown Foundation to actively campaign for wild places around Australia and beyond. His books include Franklin River Pictorial, Lake Pedder, Valley of the Giants, Memo for a Saner World, Earth and Optimism, and his Earth Song was recently orchestrated.
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