Murdoch University joined global energy producer Chevron for the official launch of the Harry Butler Institute.
The initiative not only honours the legacy of one of Western Australia’s environmental pioneers, it will shape the next generation of leaders in conservation and environmental management.
It will offer new academic pathways for students and support research programs promoting sustainability and environmental protection.
Murdoch University Chancellor David Flanagan, Chevron Executive Vice President Jay Johnson and Chevron Australia Managing Director Nigel Hearne, were joined by Chris Tallentire MLA, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science to launch the Institute.
The Institute will be located at Murdoch University and as founding partner, Chevron will sponsor the establishment of the Chevron Harry Butler Chair in Environmental Management and Biosecurity.
Mr Flanagan paid tribute to Harry Butler’s pioneering work with Chevron Australia at Barrow Island, where his efforts were instrumental in preserving the island’s unique environment and set a global benchmark for environmental management.
“Harry Butler was a beloved Western Australian, and one who put our State on the world stage in the field of environmental management,” Mr Flanagan said.
“He educated generations of Australians about the importance of caring for our unique environment.
“Murdoch University has played a key role in supporting the industry-leading work being done on Barrow Island. By partnering with Chevron Australia, we not only honour Harry’s legacy but ensure his efforts to promote sustainability and environmental protection continue around the globe.”
Chevron Executive Vice President Jay Johnson described Murdoch University as an ideal partner to help transfer Harry’s knowledge and passion to generations of students.
“For five decades, Harry helped shape and maintain the environmental management practices that protect Barrow Island,” Mr Johnson said.
“I’m very pleased to be here to help announce the new initiative, the official launch of the Harry Butler Institute at Murdoch University.
“Murdoch University, we believe, is an ideal partner, because we’ve long worked with the University on a variety of projects, aimed at harnessing new technology to conserve Barrow Island’s conservation values.
“As a founding partner of the Harry Butler Institute, we look forward to working with Murdoch to promote high quality teaching and research in the coexistence of business and biodiversity.
“The Chevron Harry Butler Chair in Environmental Management and Biosecurity will lead and coordinate education, research and technical advice, enhancing Chevron Australia’s research activities and the quality of environmental management in our operations.
“But even more importantly, the Harry Butler Institute will build on the great work that Harry did with Chevron, by providing new generations of students with the opportunity to undertake high quality research in biosecurity science and environmental science.”
Mr Flanagan said Harry Butler’s decades of work on Barrow Island, home to the company’s oil production facilities and the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG Project and a Class A nature reserve, had created a significant and lasting legacy which is an inspiration for the next generation of environmental scientists.
“Students attending this new Institute will have the opportunity to work directly with industry and continue to demonstrate how it is possible to achieve outstanding environmental outcomes based on excellence in both scientific research and industry practice,” Mr Flanagan said.
Students will have the opportunity to study the new field of bioeconomics and the Institute will be supported by appointed fellows and adjunct professors, a PhD program and honours projects and scholarships, including an Indigenous program.
Plans for the Institute also include an environmental education centre, volunteer programs and an annual lecture series.
The Harry Butler Institute will also offer graduates a pathway towards employment with Chevron, with students to be involved in the ongoing monitoring and scientific work taking place on Barrow Island.
Source: Murdoch University