11/08/2017 - 14:33

Murdoch, Chevron unite for Harry Butler Institute

11/08/2017 - 14:33

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The legacy of one of Western Australia’s environmental pioneers has been recognised with the launch of the Harry Butler Institute – an initiative set up through a partnership between Murdoch University and energy giant Chevron.

Murdoch, Chevron unite for Harry Butler Institute
David Flanagan says Murdoch University has played a key role in supporting the work being done on Barrow Island. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The legacy of one of Western Australia’s environmental pioneers has been recognised with the launch of the Harry Butler Institute – an initiative set up through a partnership between Murdoch University and energy giant Chevron.

The institute will offer new academic pathways for students and support research programs promoting sustainability and environmental protection. 

The institute will be located at Murdoch University, with Chevron to sponsor the establishment of the Chevron Harry Butler chair in environmental management and biosecurity.  

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 experiential 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. 

Murdoch University chancellor David Flanagan joined Chevron executive vice-president Jay Johnson, Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne and parliamentary secretary to the minister for water, fisheries forestry, innovation and ICT, Chris Tallentire, to launch the institute. 

Mr Flanagan paid tribute to Harry Butler’s pioneering work with Chevron on Barrow Island, where his efforts were focused on preserving the island’s unique environment and setting a 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, and by partnering with Chevron we not only honour Harry’s legacy but ensure his efforts to promote sustainability and environmental protection continue around the globe.” 

He said Mr Butler’s decades of work on Barrow Island, home to the company’s crude oil production facilities and the multi-billion-dollar Gorgon LNG project and a class-A nature reserve, had created a significant and lasting legacy. 

“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. 

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