Bob Brown receives an honorary Doctor of Science

22 September 2017
University of Sydney alumnus calls for global democracy

Australian Greens co-founder Bob Brown is receiving an honorary doctorate in recognition of his leadership and success advocating for environmental conservation, some 50 years after completing his Bachelor of Medicine in 1968

Australian Greens co-founder Robert “Bob” Brown will receive an honorary doctorate in Science from the University of Sydney at a special ceremony this morning.

The Doctor of Science (honoris causa) is being conferred in recognition of Bob Brown’s exceptional achievements and eminence in politics and as an advocate for environmental conservation. Bob Brown is a University of Sydney alumnus, having graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1968.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence will acknowledge in the citation: “Bob is regarded as one of the founders of the environmental movement in Australia... He successfully led the opposition to the damming of Tasmania’s Franklin River.  

“Bob introduced initiatives such as Freedom of Information, Death with Dignity, lower parliamentary salaries, gay law reform, banning the battery-hen industry, nuclear free Tasmania and protection of native forests."

Bob Brown headshot sourced from the Bob Brown Foundation

Bob Brown. Source: Bob Brown Foundation.

The citation will note that Labor and the Coalition voted against his 1987 bill to ban semi-automatic guns, nearly a decade before the Port Arthur massacre.

Bob Brown, who will deliver an occasional address, said ahead of the ceremony that he was honoured to be receiving the doctorate and that what Trunkey Creek Public School began in 1950 the University of Sydney had completed in 1968.

“I learned that planet Earth is in our own hands, that there will be no divine intervention and that history, as H.G. Wells put it, is a race between education and disaster.

"Might this University become a champion of the egalitarian logic of a global parliament? A democratically elected global parliament is an essential factor for turning eight billion people from consuming ourselves out of the one house and home we have… or else fighting ourselves to extinction."

Bob Brown was selected in late 2016 to be a recipient of a University of Sydney honorary doctorate.

The ceremony will be presided over by Pro Chancellor Dr Barry Catchlove; Dr Brown will speak in the Great Hall while his Earth Song video is projected in the background.

Earth Song video

Bob Brown's video will be shown during his occasional address.

Vivienne Reiner

PhD Candidate and Casual Academic
  • Integrated Sustainability Analysis,

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