Simon Molesworth

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Simon Molesworth AO, QC (born 2 April 1954) is an Australian attorney, environmentalist and diplomat. With an experience extending over 35 years of community leadership and corporate governance, Molesworth has been a director of some 22 corporations and chairman or president of 14.[1]


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.[2] Molesworth served as 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 and the Victorian State Mining Warden. Amongst 4 in the natural resources field, Molesworth was to mid-2010 chair of Greenearth Energy Limited, a geothermal energy company.[3]

In 1978 Molesworth founded Australia's first environmental law association, the Environmental Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria.[citation needed] In 1983, Molesworth became a founder and Inaugural President of the National Environmental Law Association of Australia (NELA). Molesworth was a Founder and Inaugural Chairman of the board of the Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Limited, an independent public interest legal centre providing environmental law services to the Victoria community (1990–97) and helped lead the move to establish EDOs in every Australian State and Territory.[4]

Molesworth was a councillor of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) from 1980-2005, serving as honorary chairman and then president.[5] 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). From 2009 to 2015, Molesworth was the ACNT's International Affairs Ambassador, representing the Australian National Trusts on the INTO World Congress and at other international forums.[4]

In 1985 Molesworth became a founder of the then Environment Institute of Australia, becoming its first public officer and remaining for 15 years.[citation needed] As president from 1995 to 2005, he guided the institute's expansion into New Zealand in 2002. He oversaw the creation of the Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme, becoming a foundation member of the C.Env.P. Board.[6]

He was the founding Chairman of the Executive Board of the International National Trusts Organisation ("INTO") (to September 2015). From 2005 he was an inaugural member and then Chair of the INTO Steering Committee.[citation needed] As Chairman of INTO, Molesworth led INTO's work on Climate Change, and was INTO's Head of Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) 15, COP16 in Cancun, COP17 in Durban and COP18 in Qatar.[citation needed] 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 climate change, sustainability, renewable energy, environmental policy, law and heritage.

In 2013 Molesworth was appointed a Vice Chancellor's Professorial Fellow [7] at Monash University following his appointment as an Adjunct Professor of La Trobe University's La Trobe Institute for Social & Environmental Sustainability in 2010.[citation needed]

Molesworth was appointed an Acting Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales for 2017

Amongst numerous Australian Government and State Government positions Molesworth was a director of Parks Victoria (1994–98); a Commissioner of the Australian Heritage Commission (1987–92); and a Member of the National Cultural Heritage Committee (1996-2010).


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".[citation needed]

In 2003 the Australian Government awarded him the Centenary Medal "For service to the community through heritage and the environment"[citation needed] and the United Nations Association of Australia awarded him the 2003 World Environment Day Award for Outstanding Service to the Environment.[citation needed]

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".

Molesworth was honored as a fellow in five professional institutes.


  1. ^ 12 June 2012 (2012-06-12). "Congratulations Simon Molesworth AO QC | List A Barristers". Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  2. ^ "Barrister Profile - Victorian Bar". Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  3. ^ "Lateline - 18/03/2010: Geothermal energy trials begin near Geelong". 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC". 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Day 3 blog : COP18 with Simon Molesworth, La Trobe University". 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Environmental Enforcement 133V31 : Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC". Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  7. ^ "Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC". 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-08.