Environmental advocate receives UWS honour
Environmental advocate Professor Valerie Brown, AO, has been honoured with the title of Emeritus Professor at the University of Western Sydney's autumn graduation ceremony.
Appointed the Foundation Professor of Environmental Health at UWS Hawkesbury in 1996, Professor Brown fostered powerful links between local government and regional organisations as the Director of both the Research Centre for Healthy Futures and the Regional Integrated Monitoring Centre at the UWS Hawkesbury campus.
UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, AM, said the Emeritus title recognised Professor Valerie Brown's "distinguished service as an educator, innovator and leader at UWS".
"Professor Brown's scholarship and leadership is of the highest calibre," Professor Reid said.
"Under her care and guidance, UWS has become a national provider of undergraduate training in environmental health with a well-established and recognised postgraduate program.
"Valerie Brown is in every sense a contemporary scholar in action. To illustrate the point, UWS is currently the only national provider of an environmental health degree for indigenous people."
Besides leading the way in environmental health education, Professor Brown has also fostered highly productive relationships between UWS and the professions, industries and the communities it serves.
"My work involves research and development for a sustainable local environment with councils and communities across Australia and some parts of Asia," Professor Brown said.
"I work particularly closely with the councils of western Sydney, where there are some exciting and highly responsible approaches to local environmental sustainability."
Although Professor Brown recently retired from UWS and is now a visiting fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, she has a continuing relationship with UWS through ongoing research partnerships and the Local Sustainability Project, a research program looking into long-term sustainable development.
"At national and international levels there seems to be a climate of 'wait and see' but we don't have time to wait. At the local level there is no choice but to get on with it because the damaged environment is right under our noses," Professor Brown said.
Professor Brown is Vice-President of the Australian National Biocentre in Canberra and a member of the NSW Public Health Workforce Management Committee, and has served on many other national bodies including the Greenpeace Australia National Board, the CSIRO Advisory Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
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