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Bob Brown

b. 1944

Bob Brown (b. 1944), environmentalist, doctor and senator, is an environmental campaigner and former Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens. The son of a country policeman, Brown studied medicine at Sydney University and in 1972 moved to Tasmania, where he worked as a general practitioner in Launceston. His passion for the Tasmanian wilderness was sparked by a rafting trip down the Franklin River in 1976, the same year that he became a founding member of the Wilderness Society. From then until 1983 he famously led the campaign against proposed dam-works on the Franklin, during which he was arrested and gaoled. The river was subsequently preserved with a World Heritage Listing. In 1983, he began a decade in the Tasmanian House of Assembly as the Member for Denison. He was elected to the Federal Senate as a member of the Tasmanian Greens in 1996 and later joined West Australian Greens Senator Dee Margetts in founding the Australian Greens. At the 2001 Federal election Brown was re-elected to the Senate with a greatly increased vote. Brown has overseen the emergence of the Greens from a fringe to a mainstream political force and remains one of the most-recognised Australian political figures, known for his outspokenness on the environment as well as human rights and social justice issues. His memoir Memo for a saner world was published in 2004.

Updated 2013