Bob Brown

Bob Brown speaking at the Styx Rally, 2003

Robert (Bob) Brown (b 1944), world-renowned environmental campaigner, social justice and peace advocate, parliamentarian and leader of the Australian Greens. Born in Oberon, New South Wales, the son of a country policeman, he graduated in Medicine from Sydney University and moved to Tasmania in 1973, where in search of the Tasmanian tiger, he developed an enduring passion for Tasmania's wilderness and campaigned to save Lake Pedder in south-west Tasmania.

Bob became a member and political candidate of the United Tasmania Group in 197374 and in 1976, with others, founded the Tasmanian Wilderness Society. From then until 1983 he led the campaign to save the Franklin River, during which he was arrested and gaoled. He has devoted his life to saving wild forests and wilderness places and to campaigning for social justice and peace throughout the world. His opposition to the visits of nuclear ships, to the 2003 war in Iraq, together with his condemnation of the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the Indonesian occupation of East Timor and West Papua, has given hope to all fighting for self-determination.

A driving force behind Green politics in Australia, Bob represented Denison in the Tasmanian Parliament from 1983 to 1993 and was elected to the Australian Senate as the leader of the Australian Greens in 1996 and 2001. He was appointed to the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honour in 1987 and was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize (USA) in 1990. In 1983 he was Australian of the Year. He has a property on the Liffey River under Drys Bluff in the Great Western Tiers, and founded the Australian Bush Heritage Fund to purchase land for conservation.

Further reading: C Pybus & R Flanagan, The rest of the world is watching, Sydney, 1990; B Brown & P Singer, The Greens, Melbourne, 1996; J Norman, Bob Brown, Sydney, 2004.

Christine Milne