Harley Wright

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NSBHS 1957 - 1961 (with some chagrin in first year because I had wanted to go to NS Tech but my parents thought otherwise. I wanted to 'do or make' things - not study boring languages!).

With some interest in chemistry, strengthened somewhat at school by extracurricular activities in pyrotechnics, I did Science at Uni of Sydney. Though always interested in botany & ecology, I majored in maths & chemistry. Research interests led me to a PhD in Physical Chemistry.

Employed in chemical & mineral processing research by NB Love Starches briefly, a belated post doc in London, then 7 years with CSR. Much of the latter, being spent on iron ore developments.

Environmental interests strengthened with a Diploma in Environmental Studies at Macquarie Uni in 1982/83, worked for a year there, then the NSW Energy Authority briefly, then 7 years with the NSW State Pollution Control Commission (now the EPA). Good fun, as Manager, Chemicals and Wastes, dealing with the 'horror' chemicals of dioxins, PCBs, TBT, asbestos, organochlorine pesticides and contaminated sites, etc, etc. But oh, what a lot of political hogwash our politicians weave (mixed metaphor) when they make it a high priority to reduce our domestic wastes to landfill when they are less than 1% of solid wastes generated in Australia! Having seen the masssive wastes in mining and metallurgy, I now appreciate that the cities' waste production is chicken poop by comparison. I'll resist bemoaning how politics overrides an objective analysis of risks and appropriate options. Whatever happened to public servants proposing policy 'without fear or favour'? Heaven forbid, Minister!

In 1991, I became Environmental Manager for Kimberly-Clark Australia - my current position.

My professional passion and concern is climate change and how we might efficiently and more rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This is undoubtedly the major environmental issue for this century. Our children and grandchildren will be grappling with this one! Again, I am frustrated at the political obfuscation which occurs on this issue, mainly I suspect because the public and industry do not understand how economic measures are the most efficient and fair means for managing emission reductions - and the politicians react accordingly. So, you can see my evangelism on this one!

On the personal side, I married Julia nee Thompson in 1967 - whom I met in Chemistry. Old Falconians, Michael Morris and Alan Buckley being best man and groomsman. When we first met, June 1962, I discovered she went skiing, which was pretty unusual in those days. A common interest. But so was caving in the Sydney Uni Speleological Society. Subsequently, a group of friends, based on our uni SUSS trips, has evolved into a very strong tribe who share a love of outdoor adventure. We regularly go bushwalking, camping, and snorkelling. Julia and I are still active skiers - now solely of the cross country kind. Recent trips have been to Antarctica in 1999 and in August (2001) we toured the Arctic out of Spitsbergen/Norway. Kayaking was an exciting feature of each of these trips - and we continue to enjoy kayaking on the wonderful waterways around Sydney - which are just stunningly beautiful from this viewpoint. Our large garden at Roseville is a continual passion, with interests in native flora, especially rainforests, orchids and some parlous bonsai.

We have 3 wonderful boys (everybody's kids are wonderful, aren't they). Andrew (= young Harley), 30 yrs, trained and practised law (UNSW), married, and is now doing an MBA at Columbia, New York. Michael, 26 yrs, BA Uni Syd, is in a food and function business. Phillip, BSc, is just back (Sep 01) from a post uni tour-the-world thing and now has to think about employment!