Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) held a special 50th Anniversary event in Brisbane on the 19th October for an evening of music, champagne and reminiscing amongst QCC's extended family that is the Qld conservation movement. It was like a star-studded evening with some of Qld's most notable conservation leaders there to share stories of fighting the good fight during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen days and when our state Government didn't even have an environment department!
With an opening address from the evening's MC James Whelan and then the QCC President Dick Copeman to welcome everyone, the evening of mingling and sharing colourful QCC stories began! There were short speeches from Tor Hundloe (who was the QCC Chair in 1976), Liz Bourne (QCC's longest serving Coordinator, this was during the 1980s), Imogen Zethoven (Coordinator 1995-2000), Linda Selvey (QCC Chair 2002-2009) and Toby Hutcheon (QCC Coordinator 2005-2015). These stories including reflections on the hard years during the "Joh" Government era and campaigns focusing on protecting the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, the Conondale Range and even on one of NQCC's key campaigns opposing uranium mining at Ben Lomond. QCC also focused on National Park protections on Moreton Island, Cooloola and Cape York. At the local level, QCC worked hard supporting recycling schemes, smog busters, sustainable public transport options and developed the 'Walk Against Warming' rallies back in the early 2000s.
We also heard from the QCC Director, Louise Matthiesson about her hopes that the youth who are engaged now in the Strike for Climate movement, are the next leaders of Queensland's conservation Councils. She reflected on the importance of collecting more of the stories and history as we stand on the shoulders of giants, the people who led the environment movement from the beginning of QCC's establishment in 1969.
The evening's live music was performed by Jenny Fitzgibbon from the Carbon Canaries - singing "Bye-bye Coal, Bye-bye fossil fuels, Hello renewables, Energy from the Sky" to the tune of "Bye Bye Love" and "Divest your Super from the old Coal Mine, And smile smile smile" to the tune of "Pack up Your Troubles"! By the way, you can find these lyrics or upload your own on the Carbon Canaries website (www.carboncanaries.com.au).
This event reminded me of QCC's 40th Anniversary, also a wonderful evening of organic sparkling wine and a rock band made up of conservationists whose names I cannot recall. Perhaps someone reading this will know? I would love to find out!
And if you have stories to share about your memories of QCC or key campaigns - QCC would love to hear from you as they try to document this important information. Email Liz at admin email@example.com and send through your memories!
- Tarquin Moon, NQCC Campaigns Manager