Roy Green, interviewed by Tom Spurling, 3 April 2017

By September 14th, 2018

Roy Green was the Director of the CSIRO Institute of Natural Resources and Environment from (1988-1995)

Edited transcript (PDF – 322 KB)

Interview summary

Roy Montague Green was born in Ilkeston, England on 25 October 1935. He talks briefly about his childhood in Ilkeston, his secondary education at Ilkeston Grammar School and his university studies at Liverpool University.

Roy’s first job was as a trainee engineer with Westinghouse in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He tells how he decided that he did not want to be an engineer, so enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Toronto. His work was all about the detection of low levels of radiation in people or foodstuffs. It ‘was really to do with chasing where the atomic bomb fallout went.’

He describes his decision to accept a position at the AAEC in Lucas Heights and his journey to Sydney from Toronto via England and Perth, where he married Robin Wendy Shields, and his subsequent decision to leave the AAEC. He returned to Canada to work in the RCA Research Laboratories in Montreal. It was as the Director Research Program Development, that he developed skills that were very useful in his future roles.

Roy came back to Australia in December 1971 to establish WAIT‐AID Ltd, the technology transfer company of the then Western Australian Institute of Technology. He discusses his approach to enlisting the staff to external engagement.

There follows a section where Roy talks about his move to the Commonwealth Public Service in Canberra in 1975 during the final months of the Whitlam Government, and his subsequent roles at ASTEC and the Department of Science and Technology.

Roy recounts his recruitment to CSIRO as the Director of the Institute of Natural Resources and the Environment, his successes in building large externally funded projects and his brief time as Chief Executive of the Organisation.


Interview recorded at Subiaco (Perth) on 3th April 2017 as part of the CSIRO History Project.


Copyright owned by Swinburne University of Technology and CSIRO. Some re-use permitted (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND).