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About Peter Cullen

Professor Peter Cullen AO FTSE, MAgrSc, DipEd (Melb), Hon DUniv (Canb)was one of Australia’s most renowned scientists, particularly in the field of water and natural resource management, notably nutrient dynamics, freshwater and lake ecology, environmental flows and catchment management.

After Peter retired from the University of Canberra in 2002, he continued to speak for the rivers with his advocacy, notably as a founder of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.

Peter was known for his exploration of different ways of communicating complex science – he could explain systems approaches to environmental management in accessible ways to all in society, from the Prime Minister to community members living by our rivers. He greatly affected water and environmental policy in all tiers of government, by strong and effective leadership and accessible and evidence based science communication.

In 2009, one year after Peter passed away, the Peter Cullen Trust was established in his legacy – to enhance the links between good science and effective policy making – both of which require effective leadership and communication skills  – bringing science to life and making it relevant for politicians and policy makers.

Peter’s writings

“While scientists can give a measure of what we should do with rivers, the fate of our rivers will depend on politicians having the courage to follow scientific advice.”

Peter Cullen AO

“Now, as management of the world’s water resources becomes more complex and complicated, the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust is mandated more than ever to enable those in the water sector to rise to the challenge of the “Cullen Benchmark” – to ‘take the next step and actually make change’”

T. Stubbs, 2011

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