Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Bellingen Boy; UTE SCHULENBERG Talks to Greens Leader Bob Brown

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Bellingen Boy; UTE SCHULENBERG Talks to Greens Leader Bob Brown

Article excerpt

WHEN asked if spending some of his formative teenage years in Bellingen may have contributed to his passion for the environment, Senator Bob Brown doesn't hesitate:

"Absolutely," the leader of the Australian Greens responds.

"When I lived there the island (Bellingen Island) was a tropical rainforest and you could dive into crystal clear water nearly five metres deep."

Senator Brown is the son of a NSW policeman who was stationed in Bellingen from 1953 to 1956.

"We lived in the police station in the middle of town and I started high school while we were there.

"Bellingen High had only just opened and I went to Coffs High (now Jetty High).

"We used to catch the school bus, driven by Snowy Glyde, to Raleigh and then the two carriage steam train to Coffs Harbour."

It was during this time Senator Brown recalls deciding medicine was the profession he wanted to pursue. He did his degree at Sydney University and upon its completion moved to Tasmania to practice in Launceston.

He says medicine really taught him how to listen, something he considers vital in his current position.

"You have to be good at listening to make good decisions."

A rafting trip down the Franklin River in 1976 was life-changing for the senator.

After what he described in a 2003 interview (with journalist Jan Cunningham, ABC TV, George Negus Tonight) as 11 "astonishing and spellbinding" days of gorges and canyons, waterfalls and wildlife, the rafters ran smack, bang into the jackhammers and helicopters of the Tasmanian Hydroelectric Commission in the early stages of the planned Franklin Dam project.

He said the experience was shattering and made him realise that "everything we'd floated through was on death row" (reference as above).

Senator Brown left medicine and began organising and training protestors for the Franklin campaign, which culminated in a massive blockade in 1983. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.