Since the first rock was used to spark a fire, humans have relied on the earth’s resources to sustain our lives and prosper. But without visionaries like Dr. Harry Butler, our world would be a very different place.

He’s been described as Western Australia’s answer to David Attenborough – a brilliant environmental campaigner and advisor who never gave up and who worked in partnership with the community and industry to leave behind a legacy that has shaped the future of the resource industry.

As Australia’s leading naturalist and environmental consultant, Harry was a conservation consultant to the Barrow Island oilfield and many other projects, playing a major role in environmental conservation and restoration in Australia.

Where it all began

Harry Butler’s partnership with the resources industry dates back to the early 1960s, when he acted as environmental advisor for a small team searching for oil on Barrow Island. From these humble beginnings, Harry’s life as an environmental pioneer blossomed. Over the next 50 years, he made a major contribution to the future of the Australian environment with his conservation work. In particular, through the In The Wild with Harry Butler television series which brought awareness to Australia’s wildlife heritage and the need for conservation.

A different view

His unique worldview has been described as “big picture thinking”. Every decision he made took in a careful consideration of the whole environment – and everything in it.

“Harry believed that ecosystems include humans and he believed in educating people on their role in protecting that ecosystem. As a result, he unlocked the power of working with businesses to protect biodiversity.”
– Jay Johnson, Executive Vice President for Upstream, Chevron Australasia.

Dr. Butler’s work with the resources industry also pioneered a Quarantine Management System, recognised as the world’s best practice. This system focuses on preventing the introduction of non-indigenous animals and plants into an ecosystem. This limits the potential harm to native species, their food, water and shelter.

A proud legacy

“Harry was a remarkable Australian and true champion of the environment. We are committed to continuing Harry’s legacy for future generations.”
– Nigel Hearne, managing director, Chevron Australasia.

Dr. Harry’s enduring advice has had a strong influence on the resource industry’s environmental principles, by always placing the needs of the environment at the centre. This helps the industry to reduce their environmental footprint, operate responsibly, and maintain their operating sites.