Peter Cullen (scientist)
|Died||14 March 2008 (aged 64)|
|Education||MAgrSc, DipEd (Melbourne)|
|Alma mater||University of Melbourne|
|Awards||AO FTSE, Hon DUniv (Canberra)|
The son of an engineer, Cullen got his start as a water expert very early in life when his father moved to Tallangatta to oversee that town's relocation to accommodate an expanded Hume Dam. Cullen studied agricultural science at the University of Melbourne and soon turned to detailed studies of irrigation and the problems it can bring to the land it makes productive.
Cullen retired from the University of Canberra in 2002 and actively continued his advocacy for water in the environment, notably as a founder of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and as a regular interviewee on radio and television when water ecology was discussed.
- Prime Minister's Prize for Environmentalist of the Year in 2001 for his work on the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality
- Dean of Applied Science, University of Canberra
- South Australian Thinker in Residence, 2004
- Flinders University - Schultz Oration, 16 November 2007, the Flinders Research Centre for Coastal and Catchment Environments (FRCCCE), exploring water scarcity and futures for South Australia oration mp3
- Founding Member, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
- Commissioner, National Water Commission
- Member, Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Committee
- Chair, Scientific Advisory Panel, Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum
- Chair, Victorian Water Trust Advisory Council
- Former Director, Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology (1993–2002), University of Canberra
- Former President, Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
- Member, International Water Academy
- Visiting Fellow, CSIRO Land and Water
- Director, Land and Water Australia
- Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Dr Paul Sinclair from the Australian Conservation Foundation said, "there are academics who like to bang on in the ivory tower and there are academics who like to be down and dirty in the swamp. Peter Cullen... liked to be down and dirty in the swamp.... When he retired from his academic post, it appeared to me that there was ... no change in his work regime and he appeared to be busier than ever."
On the first anniversary of Peter Cullen's death, Senator Penny Wong (as Minister for Climate Change and Water) announced $1 million to establish a Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust, stating
"The creation of a perpetual legacy in name of Peter Cullen is a fitting tribute to this great Australian on the anniversary of his death a year ago today .. Professor Cullen made an enormous contribution to the management of natural resources in Australia, most of all around rivers and freshwater ecology .. As a founding National Water Commissioner, a leading member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and in his many other roles, Professor Cullen was an inspiring and influential leader in the important debate about water in this country"
Cullen lived with his wife, Rev. Vicky Cullen, at their home at Gunning, New South Wales, near Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, where Vicky was the Rector. Cullen was active in the Anglican Church of Australia, notably the Cursillo movement. He had two daughters, Michelle and Belinda.
- Department of Premier and Cabinet, Peter Cullen (1943–2008), Government of South Australia, archived from the original on 12 March 2011
- Dalby, Paul (2007), Peter Cullen at the Schultz Oration, archived from the original on 26 March 2015
- Siewert, Rachel (14 March 2008). "Cullen was a conservation giant: Greens" (Press release). Australian Greens. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016.
- "Tributes flow for water expert Cullen". ABC Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 March 2008. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008.
- Wong, Penny (13 March 2009). "$1 million for new trust to honour Peter Cullen" (Press release). Australian Government. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
- "Trust set up to aid water lobbying". News Limited. AAP. 13 March 2009.
- Locke, Sarina (14 March 2008). "Patron of rivers - Peter Cullen dies". ABC Rural. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.