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A page with three photographs of a river stuck to it


A page with three photographs of a river stuck to it

Object information

Physical description

A sheet of card with three black and white photographs stuck to it. The paper and the photos are landscape with two photographs on the top and one on the bottom left hand side. There is a coffee stain on the top left hand corner of the cardboard that extends on to the first photograph, which is of a man in an inflatable raft with a paddle going down rapids on a river between rocks. The water is white. The photograph is taken from a distance so the figure looks small. There is a note in black biro to the right of the picture that reads "Bob Brown". The second picture is taken at a low vantage point looking out across the water in the river. A man in an inflatable raft with packs in the front holding a paddle can be seen on the white water where the rapids are. The words "Bob Brown" are below the picture. The third photograph is of a man in an inflatable raft. He has one leg over the side of the raft and he is holding the paddle He is wearing a hat. There are logs in the river behind him. The caption to the right reads "Paul Smith" in blue biro, then in pencil "recovering after an upset." In the spare quadrant of the paper the words "All Franklin R. / 1976." is written in pen and the back of the paper has a round stamp with "TWS NO. PICTURE". There is also a stamp that that reads "PLEASE RETURN TO / TAS. WILDERNESS SOCIETY / 129 BATHURST STREET HOBART 7000."

Statement of significance

This collection of approximately 3000 items consists of ephemera, documents and personal artefacts relates to the life and work of Senator (Bob) Robert James Brown, one of Australia's most prominent conservationists and environmental activists. The collection is particularly strong in relation to ephemera from the 'Save the Franklin' campaign of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but also includes some pro-dam ephemera that shows the opposition's point of view. Material from the earlier 'Save Lake Pedder' campaign is also well represented.

Dr Bob Brown, a medical doctor, rose to prominence in the late 1970s after taking on the directorship of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society (TWS) and becoming one of Australia's most outspoken and high profile opponents of the Tasmanian Hydro Electric Commission's plans to flood the Gordon and Franklin Rivers in Tasmania's largely untamed southwest. Building on the impetus of earlier campaigns against the flooding of Lake Pedder, the TWS was spectacularly successful in galvanising national public opinion against the Gordon and Franklin dam proposal. This reached its zenith with the 'No Dams' campaign that commenced in 1981 and culminated in the July 1983 decision by the High Court of Australia against the construction of the dam. This decision also had broader political and constitutional ramifications because it was seen by some as an undermining of state rights, while others saw it as a milestone in national conservation awareness that underscored the power of environmental issues in national politics.

As a result of his very public efforts to preserve Australia's natural heritage Dr Bob Brown was made Australian of the Year in 1983, and received the UNEP Global 500 Award 1987, and the Goldman Environmental Prize USA 1990. He was elected as an independent to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1983 and has served as a federal senator for the Australian Greens since 1996.

Object information

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