La Trobe University honours Bob Brown

La Trobe University has presented environmentalist and former Australian Greens Leader Dr Bob Brown with the honorary degree, Doctor of the University (honoris causa).

Chancellor Clarke and Bob Brown - honorary degreeThe degree was conferred by La Trobe University Chancellor, Professor Adrienne E Clarke AC at a ceremony at the University today.

The ceremony was followed by a discussion between Dr Brown, Emeritus Professor Dennis Altman AM and Emeritus Professor Robert Manne as part of La Trobe’s Ideas and Society Program.

The honour is a tribute to Dr Brown and his commitment to environmental protection, human rights and social justice.

In a public career of more than 30 years, Dr Brown has been a powerful voice for environmental activism across Australia and around the world. 

He was catapulted to the world stage in 1982 when, as Director of The Wilderness Society, he organised a blockade of the dam works on the Franklin River, an action for which he was jailed for 19 days. 

The resulting protection of the river by Federal Parliament gave birth to a fledgling environmental activism movement now known as the Greens. 

His Parliamentary career began the day after he was released from prison when he was elected to Tasmania’s House of Assembly as its first Greens member. He resigned from State Parliament in 1993 and was elected as the first Greens Federal Senator in 1996, becoming its Leader in 2005.

Frequently controversial, he was arrested in 1995 again and unsuccessfully sued for his campaign against wood chipping, and in court with Forestry Tasmania over the Wielangta Forest logging program. 

As a Federal Senator, Dr Brown remained a critic of many government policies on both sides of parliament. 

He was and remains critical of Australia’s asylum seeker policy. 

He has campaigned on human rights in Tibet, East Timor and West Papua, as well as on climate change and global warming and in support of gay rights.

Media contact 

Tim Mitchell
Director, Media and Communication (Acting) La Trobe University 
T + 61 3 9479 5246 | M + 61 437 457780

Steven Chaffer
Dr Brown’s media advisor
M + 61 408 855 261