Honorary awards

Dr Brian Stanley Fisher AO PSM

The degree of Doctor of Science in Agriculture (honoris causa) was conferred upon Dr Brian Stanley Fisher AO PSM, BScAgr (Hons I) PhD Sydney, at the Faculties of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and Veterinary Science graduation ceremony held at 2.00pm on 6 May 2011.

Dr Fisher is one of Australia's most respected advisers on climate change, emissions trading and the economic impact of current and future climate and energy policies.

Associate Professor Peter McCallum and Dr Fisher

Chair of the Academic Board, Associate Professor Peter McCallum and Dr Fisher, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Professor McCallum, it gives me great pleasure to commend to you Dr Brian Fisher for the award of Doctor of Science in Agriculture (honoris causa). Dr Fisher has distinguished himself through his exceptional achievement, beyond the expectations of his field of agricultural economics, in influencing the thinking of the wider community on matters concerning resource industries and their impact on the national economy.

Dr Fisher completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree, graduating from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in 1973, and a PhD in Agricultural Economics in 1978. His subsequent appointments which include that of Chief Research Economist in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics as well as Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at this University reflect a capacity to provide strong leadership in both academic and public sector environments.

In 1988 he was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics in Canberra where he focused on the issues of resource development and resource use across the agricultural, mineral, energy, forestry and fishing industries. He has also provided leadership in the international arena in his lead roles in the United Nation’s Inter-governmental panel on Climate Change and in his chairmanship of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Exports and infrastructure. He played an integral role in the international climate change negotiations as economic advisor to Australia’s negotiating team in the lead up to, and at, the third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto. Backed by the capacities he established in the Bureau, he has significantly influenced the approach Australia has taken to climate change.

Dr Fisher has published widely and has contributed to a number of professional organisations including being elected President of the Australian Economics Society in 1989. He has also been widely recognised by his peers in being awarded the Farrer Medal in 1994, becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1995, the award of a Public Service Medal in 2002 and the Order of Australia in 2007.

In 2006 he retired from the Public Service and became a Vice-President at CRA International and then in 2008 became Executive Director of Concept Economics. In these roles he has continued to contribute to climate change policies.

Dr Fisher’s longstanding commitment to the future development of an efficient and effective Australian agricultural industry is worthy of recognition; and we are very pleased to take this opportunity to honour his contributions. Professor McCallum, I present Dr Brian Fisher for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Agriculture (honoris causa), and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.