Our Ambassador provides national leadership and advocacy for new technology and science for management of bushfires and serves as Chair of the ANU-Optus Bushfire Research Centre of Excellence Advisory Board.

The Hon Robert ‘Bob’ Debus AM

Bob worked as a solicitor, publisher and broadcaster before being elected to the NSW Parliament in 1995. He held many Ministerial portfolios including Minister for Emergency Services (1995/2003) and Minister for Environment (1999/2007). In 2007 he was elected to the Federal Parliament and served as Minister for Home Affairs until he retired from politics in 2010.

He has been a life-long campaigner for nature and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As a NSW Minister, he oversaw the largest ever reorganisation, expansion and re-equipment of emergency services across New South Wales. He remains the longest serving environment minister in any Australian jurisdiction and oversaw the expansion of the national park system of New South Wales by over one-third during that time.