On July 20th, Professor Bob Birrell met with the Victoria and Tasmania branch of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) to receive his award as the inaugural winner of the Mary E White Unsung Hero award.
The winner was announced at the Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) Annual General Meeting in Brisbane in April.
Bob was presented his award certificate by VicTas branch president Kelvin Thomson along with local SPA members. Members met with Bob at a local cafe to celebrate his win in person and to give appreciation to his many achievements.
The Unsung Hero award is given to a person who has done outstanding work in the field of population but has largely been unrecognised for his or her achievements.
The award is named for the late Dr Mary E White, renowned paleobotanist and author who was a Patron of SPA from 2000 until her death last year, aged 92. Dr White was a strong advocate for limiting human population size and believed Australia should have no more than 13 million people.
For the three decades that SPA has existed, Bob Birrell has been doing first class research on population and immigration, first as director at the Centre for Population and Urban Research (CPUR) at Monash University in Melbourne, then since his retirement, as head of The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI).
In recent months, Bob Birrell’s achievements have received widespread media attention, including exposure on mainstream TV and press.