March 19, 2013
Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is delighted to announce Australian philanthropic pioneer Philip Wollen as its seventh Honorary Fellow. The award is given to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the protection of animals.
Philip Wollen, 62, founder of the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust in Melbourne, suppports some 500 projects in more than forty countries in five key areas: children, animals, the sick, the environment and aspiring youth. The Kindness Trust's mission statement reads "to promote kindness toward all other living beings and enshrine it as a recognisable trait in the Australian character and culture". The initiative, named after Wollen's mother and grandmother, provides funding for schools, sanctuaries, shelters, orphanages, lion parks, vehicles, ambulances, biogas plants, disaster recovery, medical equipment, food and medicine.
In choosing the projects he supports, Wollen is assisted by an international network of cotnacts who conduct "due diligence" on his behalf. His preference is for small pro-vegan programmes that "punch above their weight".
Wollen describes himself as an "ahimsan" - derived from the Sanskrit word "ahimsa" - which means non-violence to any living being". He believes that ahimsa is "the most beautiful word ever written at any time, in any country, in human history." Wollen does not distinguish between the suffering of human and non-human animals. A philosophy that he summarises as "In their capactity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear ... is a boy." Philip Wollen received the "Order of Australia" in 2005, the "Austalian Humanitarian of the Year" in 2006 and in 2007, on Australia Day, he received the award "Australian of the Year Victoria".
Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics says "It is a great pleasure to honour someone who has worked so sacrificially to improve the world for humans and animals."
Every year the Centre invites one or more outstanding individuals to become Honorary Fellows. Current Honorary Fellows are the Nobel Laureate Professor J. M. Coetzee, the distinguished international philanthropist Dr Irene W. Crowe, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wincheter Professor Joy Carter, Madame Jeanne Marchig founder of the Marchig Trust for Animal Welfare, Professor Justus George Lawler, theologian and scholar, and Multi Emmy award winning television personality, philanthropist and educational pioneer Bob Barker.
Note to editors
More information on the Kindness Trust at www.kindnesstrust.com.
About Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, founded in 2006 by its director Professor Andrew Linzey, is an independent Centre with the aim of pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching and publication. The Centre has more than 60 Fellows drawn from a vriety of academic disciplines from throughout the world. for more information about the Cente and its Fellow please see its website at www.oxfordanimalethics.com.
The Revd Professor Andrew Linzey is a Member of the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. He has written or edited 20 books, including Animal Theology (SCM Press/University of Illinois Press, 1994) and Why Animals Suffering Matters (Oxford University Press, 2009.