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About Christine Milne

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Christine Milne 1 Jan 2012

Christine Milne stepped down from the Leadership of the Australian Greens on May 6, 2015.

Christine, Senator for Tasmania, is one of Australia's most experienced and respected environmental and community activists, with a career spanning 30 years.

After leading a highly successful alliance of farmers, fishers, scientists, environmentalists and concerned community members from Wesley Vale to prevent the construction of a polluting pulp mill, Christine was elected to the Tasmanian parliament in 1989, and became the first woman to lead a political party in Tasmania in 1993. She was elected to the Senate in 2004, elected Deputy Leader of the Greens in 2008 and Leader in April 2012.

Christine's vision, her deep policy knowledge about climate change and her unparalleled experience with power-sharing minority governments led to the establishment of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee and its successful negotiations to design the Clean Energy Future package.

Christine grew up on a dairy farm, and she has demonstrated a commitment to and understanding of farmers through her career. Her passion for regional Australia and the future of the country's food production is widely appreciated.  She is an advocate for local and global food security, sustainable agriculture, biosecurity, healthy eating, and a fair go for farmers.


When in the Tasmanian parliament, Christine constructed a comprehensive plan to transform the state into a “clean, green and clever” economy.  This vision has become mainstream, and Christine has brought a similar agenda to the federal parliament with her push to transform Australia to a low-carbon pollution economy.

Christine has long recognised the arts as playing a central role in our quality of life and self-awareness as Australians. As well as a passionate attendee at galleries and performances, Christine works hard to bring the needs of artists to parliament.

Christine’s international reputation was recognised when she was appointed a United Nations Global 500 Laureate and elected Global Vice-President of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) from 2005 to 2008. She has held a series of international and senior environmental advisory positions and is recognised as a leader in environment movement globally.

Christine was arrested and jailed during the campaign to save the Franklin River in 1983. Following her successful campaign to stop the native forest-based Wesley Vale pulp mill in the late 1980s, she was elected to the Parliament of Tasmania in 1989 and went on to help form the Labor-Green Accord which doubled the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, introduced Freedom of Information legislation and saved over 20 country schools from closure.

After becoming leader of the Tasmanian Greens in 1993, and particularly while holding the balance of power between 1996-98, Christine oversaw a period of significant social and economic reform, including gay law reform, gun law reform an apology to the Indigenous Stolen generation, Tasmanian support for a republic and the branding of Tasmania as clean, green and clever. She pioneered the idea of co-operative politics in Australia and is committed to developing ethically-based leadership.

In her ten years in the Australian Senate, Christine has further developed her national and international reputation for expertise and passion in policy to address global warming. As lead negotiator for the Greens on climate policy, Christine achieved through the multi-party climate panel an emissions trading scheme, the biodiversity fund and $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

After a near textbook transition to the Leadership in 2012, Christine lead the Australian Greens through the reminder of the minority parliament, continuing to achieve wins including the significant progression of Denticare.

With the new Parliament and a new conservative government, Christine maintained the Greens position in favour of global warming action and a more caring society.

Christine intends will stand up to the conservative Abbott government and fight for a clean economy, to protect the natural environment, caring for refugees and to be a voice for a more equal community.

Christine Anne Milne

14 May 1953:      Born at Latrobe, Tasmania, the second daughter of Wesley Vale dairy farmers, Tom and June Morris.

1959-63:              Attended Wesley Vale Area School

1964-69:              Attended St Mary's College, Hobart, as a boarder

1970:                     Attended Devonport High School

1971-3:                Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Political Science, University of Tasmania;

Elected President of Ena Waite University College.

1974:     Graduated from University of Tasmania with Honours in Australian history and Certificate of Education.

1975:                     Taught at Parklands High School, Burnie, Tasmania

1975:                     Married Neville Milne at Latrobe, Tasmania

1976-77:              Taught at Devonport High and Don College

1978:                     Travelled overseas to Europe

1979-81:              Taught at Devonport High

1982:                     Travelled through Asia, Middle East and Africa (Jan-June)

Awarded Japan Foundation Trip for multi cultural education

1983:     First involvement in campaigning, to save huts at Waldheim Chalet in Cradle Mountain National Park

1983:                     Arrested and imprisoned for involvement in Franklin Dam blockade

1984:                     Taught Devonport High

1984:                     First son, Thomas Milne, born

1986:                     Second son, James Milne, born

1987-8:                Research officer, Australian Bicentennial Historic Records Search

1988:     Awarded Australian Bicentennial Women 88 Award for achievements in protection of the environment

1988-9:                Led the campaign by farmers, fishers, scientists and environmentalists to stop the Wesley Vale pulp mill

1989:                     Elected to Tasmanian Parliament as independent member for Lyons.

Jointly held balance of power, supporting the ALP in an accord which delivers a doubling of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, FOI law reform, and the Douglas Apsley and Friendly Beaches National Parks

1990:                     Inducted as United Nations Global 500 Environmental Forum Laureate

1990:     Appointed member of Australia's first Greenhouse Council alongside Joan Kirner, and Rupert Hamer

1992:                     Re-elected in seat of Lyons as a Green Independent

1992:     Founding Member of the Tasmanian Greens Party with Bob Brown, Gerry Bates, Lance Armstrong and Di Hollister

1993:                     Elected Leader of the Tasmanian Greens following resignation of Bob Brown.

1994-96:              Participated in reform of Parliament Committee which resulted in Party Status for the Tasmanian Greens

1996-8:                Led Tasmanian Greens in balance of power with a Liberal Minority Government, delivering gay law reform, gun law reform, apology to the Stolen Generations, support for a Republic, and protection of forests in the Counsel River region

1998:                     Appointed to Commonwealth Constitutional Convention

1998:     Lost seat of Lyons after Liberals and Labor combine to reduce the size of the Tasmanian Parliament

1998:                     Attended UNFCCC, 4th Conference of the Parties, Buenos Aires.

1999:     Attended Green Parties of the Americas Conference, Mexico and UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting Paris.

1999:                     Marriage Ends

2000:     Elected to Global Council of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Amman, Jordan

2000:     Appointed to the Australian Earth Charter Committee

2000:                     Attended UNFCCC 6th COP The Hague

2000:                     Delegate to the Asia Pacific Greens Conference Brisbane

2000-04:              Adviser to Senator Bob Brown

2001:                     Chaired final Plenary of Inaugural Global Greens Conference, Canberra

2001:                     Elected to Australian Conservation Foundation National Council

2002:     Chaired Meeting on Climate Change at Global Biodiversity Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

2002:     Appointed to Inaugural Advisory Committee to Australian Catholic Bishops in establishment of Catholic Earth Care Australia

2003:                     Delivers keynote address to World Parks Congress Durban South Africa

2003:                     Adviser to UNESCO World Heritage Committee

2003:                     Listed in Bulletin Magazine's Smart 100

2004:                     Elected to the Australian Senate

Elected Vice-President of International Union for Conservation of Nature

2005:                     Travelled Turkey, Gallipoli, in search of great uncle's grave site

2005:     Took up Senate seat, immediately taking on the climate change and energy portfolio among others

Addressed United Nations Plenary session at UNFCCC COP 11, Montreal

2005:     Appointed to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs Deputy Chair of the Committee

2006:     Invited participant in IUCN Global Thinkers Meeting, Zurich, Switzerland, with Mohammed Yunus, Lester Brown, Ashok Khosla, Sylvia Earle and others

2006:                     Attended UNFCCC Cop 12 Nairobi

2007:                     Attended UNFCCC COP 13 Bali

2008:                     Elected Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens

2009:                     Attended UNFCCC COP 15 Copenhagen

2010:                     Re-elected on a record-breaking Greens Senate vote of 20.27%

Re-elected Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens

Appointed Co Deputy Chair Multi Party Climate Committee

2011:                     Developed Clean Energy Package announced July and legislated November.

2011:                     Attended UNFCCC COP 17 Durban South Africa.

2012:                     Elected Leader of the Australian Greens on 13 April.

2013:                     Led the Australian Greens to the 2013 general election, holding all seats and picking up an additional Senator in Victoria

2015:                    Christine stepped down as Leader of the Australian Greens


Photographs of some key moments in Christine's career can be found in the timeline on her Facebook page: and the Greens' Flickr page:

Selected high resolution, publishable photos are available on request.


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