Session 12 – The Devil in a Silken Cloak

  • Geoff-CousinsGeoff-Cousins
  • Malcolm-KnoxMalcolm-Knox

Event Category: 2016 and SessionsEvent Tags: Corrigans Room, Late Arvo, and Saturday

  • Businessman Geoff Cousins never intended to turn eco­warrior but in 2007 the controversial Gunns billion dollar pulp mill changed all that. Teaming up with unlikely fellow travellers, Man Booker prize winning author Richard Flanagan and former Greens leader Bob Brown, resulted in a national campaign that saw the pulp mill kyboshed and the Tasmanian forests saved.
    In 2012, Cousins turned his attention to the Kimberley in Western Australia where Woodside Petroleum planned to build a massive gas hub at James Price Point. Since then, Cousins spends much of his time trying to save some of the last great remaining wilderness areas from “rampant capitalist greed”.
    He’s been described as a rich bully, a corporate hitman and a man not afraid to play outside the rules of the rich and powerful. But to many Australians, Geoff Cousins actions are nothing short of heroic. Geoff Cousins joins journalist Malcolm Knox in a conversation about the environment, his part in saving it and his passion for preserving and championing our natural resources.
    In 2014, Geoff Cousins was appointed President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, the nation’s largest environmental lobby group. Geoff’s corporate career includes leading the advertising firm George Patterson Company and overseeing the building of the Optus network. He was a consultant to former Prime Minister John Howard and has served on many public company boards. He founded the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Australia and was founding chairman of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and former director of the Sydney Theatre Company. In 2014, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his service to the community.
    Malcolm Knox is a Walkley award winning journalist who writes regularly on a range of social and environmental issues for publications such as The Monthly and the Sydney Morning Herald. His book Boom: The Underground History of Australia, From Goldrush to GFC won the 2014 Ashurst Business Literature Prize. In 2015, Malcolm published Supermarket Monsters: The Price of Coles and Woolworths’ Dominance.

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