Remembering Penny Whetton


It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dr Penny Whetton, wife of our Victorian Senator Janet Rice, passed away on the evening of Wednesday 11 September.

Penny was much loved by Janet and their children John and Leon.

Penny leaves a significant legacy, including her work leading CSIRO’s national climate projections work over decades, being lead author of three IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports including the 4th assessment report, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She was also a photographer, visual artist, nature lover, weather watcher, and ardent Western Bulldogs fan.

In Penny’s memory, a memorial fund has been established to support revegetation and erosion control work at Sisters Beach in Tasmania, a place dear to Penny. Like many coasts around the world, this special beach is being impacted by rising sea levels, and suffering a death of a thousand cuts from coastal erosion and sub-optimal management. Should you wish to contribute to this fund, you can donate online here.

A celebration of Penny’s life will be held in Victoria in the coming weeks with friends and family.

Janet will be taking some time away from her parliamentary work, and is being supported by her family and close friends.

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