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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 first photograph at the top left is of a man in an inflatable raft wearing a hat and holding on to a paddle. He is near some rocks in a river. "1976" is written in biro below. The second picture at the top right of the piece of card is of an inflatable raft between two rocks. A paddle is being held above the raft, however, the person holding it can not be seen in the photograph. The caption written below in pencil reads "emerging from a slot at the end of a fast rapid down under a log". In black pen next to that is written "(just above [??] / 1976". The third photograph stuck to the piece of card is taken at an angle and shows two rubber rafts tied up at some rocks at the side of a river with lots of rapids. There is a person tying one of the rafts to the rocks. The photograph is taken from above. Below the picture is a round stamp that reads "TWS No. Picture" There is also a stamp that that reads "PLEASE RETURN TO / TAS. WILDERNESS SOCIETY / 129 BATHURST STREET HOBART 7000." There is writing that reads "Ewb" that has been crossed out and then the words "Paul / 1976".

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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