Climate change activist awarded University’s highest honour

Monday, 11 April 2011

Internationally acclaimed explorer and conservationist, Professor Tim Flannery, has been awarded Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) highest honour, Doctor of the University, in recognition of his contributions to environmental science and his advocacy for peace.

Professor Flannery was born in Melbourne and graduated from La Trobe University in 1977 with a BA in English Literature. He was subsequently awarded a Master of Science by Monash University in 1981, and a PhD by the University of NSW in 1985 for his work on the evolution of Macropods.

As a field biologist, Professor Flannery has discovered and named more than 30 new species of mammals, and at 34 was awarded the Edgeworth David Medal for outstanding research in zoology. His pioneering work in New Guinea prompted David Attenborough to put him in the league of the world’s great explorers.

Professor Flannery is a former director of the South Australian Museum, and Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum. He is currently a Professor at Sydney's Macquarie University.

An accomplished writer, Professor Flannery has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and a dozen books including The Future Eaters and the internationally acclaimed The Weather Makers. Addressing issue of climate change, The Weather Makers has been translated into more than 20 languages.

In 2007 Professor Flannery co-founded and was appointed Chair of The Copenhagen Climate Council, a coalition of community, business, and political leaders who have come together to confront climate change. A long-term adviser to parliament on environmental issues, he was this year appointed to the head of the Climate Change Commission established by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Tim FlanneryProfessor Tim Flannery


Professor Flannery’s impressive achievements have not gone unnoticed. He received a Centenary of Federation Medal for his services to Australian science, and in 2002 became the first environmental scientist to deliver the Australia Day address to the nation. In 2006 he was named the NSW Australian of the Year, and in 2007 honoured as Australian of the Year.
ACU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven, said Professor Flannery was indisputably one of Australia’s leading thinkers and writers.
“Professor Flannery is a man on a mission, determined to inspire action against climate change before it’s too late,” he said. “He has been one of Australia’s most pivotal and influential figures in our understanding of global warming, and the fight against it.”
Professor Flannery received his honorary doctorate at ACU’s Sydney graduation ceremony on Monday, April 4.