Professor Simon Richard Molesworth AO, QC (BA, LLB, LFEIANZ, FAICD, FAIM, FVPELA, PIA (Hon.F), C.Env.P., M.ICOMOS) (born 11 April 1954) is the foundation Chairman of the Executive Board of the International National Trusts Organisation (“INTO”). From 2005 he was an inaugural member and then Chair of the INTO Steering Committee. INTO is the co-ordinated voice for National Trusts and like heritage organisations worldwide with some six million members and tens of millions supporters. As Chairman of INTO, Molesworth leads INTO’s work on Climate Change, and was INTO’s Head of Delegation to the UN’s UNFCCC COP15 in Copenhagen, COP16 in Cancun, COP17 in Durban and COP18 in Qatar. He is the author of The Victoria Declaration on the Implications for Cultural Sustainability of Climate Change and regularly speaks at international and national fora on topics as diverse as climate change, sustainability, renewable energy, environmental policy & law and heritage. In 1985 Molesworth became a founder of the then Environment Institute of Australia, the institute of practitioners whose core professional discipline is environmental management, becoming its public officer upon incorporation, remaining in that office for 15 years. During his 10 year presidency of the Institute from 1995 to 2005, he guided its expansion in to New Zealand in 2002, it thus becoming the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and oversaw the creation of the Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme, becoming a foundation member of the C.Env.P. Board. Molesworth became Adjunct Professor of La Trobe University’s La Trobe Institute for Social & Environmental Sustainability in 2010. Molesworth was a councillor of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) from 1980-2005, during which time he was honorary chairman and then president for almost 20 years. From 1988 to October 2009 he was a board member of the Australian Council of National Trusts and was its chairman 2001-06. In this capacity he participated in national co-operative forums: the Regional Cultural Alliance (2003–06) and the National Cultural Heritage Forum (2002–07). Since late 2009, Molesworth has been the ACNT’s International Affairs Ambassador, representing the Australian National Trusts on the INTO World Congress and at other international forums.
Molesworth was a Commissioner of the Commonwealth’s Australian Heritage Commission for 5 years from 1987. As one of seven commissioners, he was responsible for identifying and advising the Australian Government on Australia’s National Estate. From 1996 to 2010 he was the longest standing member of the Australian Government’s National Cultural Heritage Committee, which is responsible for advising the Commonwealth on all statutory functions under the Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act.
After initially practicing as a solicitor (from 1978), Molesworth became a barrister in Victoria in 1984 and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1995, specialising in environmental, planning, heritage and natural resource law. Amongst his legal appointments Molesworth was a Senior Legal Member of the Planning Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Victoria and a Senior Legal Member of the Victorian Planning Appeals Board. In recognition of his senior work in his multi-disciplinary career, Molesworth has been elevated to that of fellow in five professional institutes. With an experience extending over 35 years of community leadership and corporate governance, Molesworth has been a director of some 22 (of which four were in the commercial sector) and chairman or president of 14 of them. Amongst 4 in the natural resources field, Molesworth was to mid-2010 chair of Greenearth Energy Limited, a geothermal energy company. Molesworth founded in 1978 and chaired till 1983 Australia's first environmental law association, the Environmental Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria. Then in 1983, Molesworth became a founder and Inaugural President of the National Environmental Law Association of Australia (NELA) which he led for some years. Molesworth was a Founder and Inaugural Chairman of the board of the Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Limited, being an independent public interest legal centre providing environmental law services to the Victorian community (1990–97) and helped lead the move to establish EDOs in every Australian State and Territory.
Australian governments at state and federal level have appointed Molesworth to numerous positions of responsibility advising on environmental policy, resource management and town/regional planning, reflecting his expertise and standing. These positions have included: Commissioner of Inquiry regarding environmental issues under the Victorian Mineral Resources Development Act (2005); a member of the Board of Melbourne Parks & Waterways, which subsequently became Parks Victoria, a State owned corporation responsible for the Crown Estate in Victoria including parks, reserves and coastlines (1994–98); member Victorian Planning Advisory Council (1993–99); the Victorian State Mining Warden, a statutory appointment pursuant to the Mineral Resources Development Act (part-time 1994); member of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority’s Pollution & Waste Management Advisory Panel (1982-86); consultant to the Victorian Ministry of Planning & Environment on Environment Assessment Procedures & Legislation (1985-86); member Victorian Planning Act Reference Group (1984); Member of the advisory committee leading to the major 1984 reforms of the Mines Act (1982-3), and then again in 1988-9, which led to the introduction of the Mineral Resources Development Act 1990.
In 1989 Molesworth was awarded the Australian Environmental Law Award for being a person who has "made an outstanding contribution to the development and understanding of environmental law in Australia". In 1994 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his “services to the community in the field of conservation and the environment in particular through the National Trust” and in 1995 he was awarded the State Environment Award by the Government of Victoria in recognition of his “significant contribution to environment protection in Victoria 1970-1995”. In 2003 the Australian Government awarded him the Centenary Medal “For service to the community through heritage and the environment” and the United Nations Association of Australia awarded him the 2003 World Environment Day Award for Outstanding Service to the Environment. In 2006 Monash University awarded Molesworth its Distinguished Alumni Award “for outstanding professional achievement, inspirational leadership and exceptional human qualities” essentially for his commitment to the environment. In June 2012 Molesworth was elevated within the Order of Australia by being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to conservation and the environment, to heritage preservation at national and international levels, to the professions and natural resource sectors, and to community health organisations”.
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- "Lateline - 18/03/2010: Geothermal energy trials begin near Geelong". Abc.net.au. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
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