Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

History

Vale Dr Louise Crossley

Christine Milne and Bob Brown are saddened to announce the passing yesterday of Dr Louise Crossley.

Christine Milne said, “Louise Crossley led a remarkable life full of high achievement driven by her curiosity, exploration and passion for the natural world and the people around her.

“She was a leader, a great traveller, and a person who made things happen, from her days at the Powerhouse Museum to the Commission for the Future, to the Antarctic Division, and more recently her work to help establish the Australian and Global Greens.

“She loved the Antarctic and was a pioneer as Station Leader at Mawson Base in 1991, only the second woman in Australia to lead a base.

“She was the very first convener of the Tasmanian Greens, stood as the Greens Senate candidate in Tasmania in 1998 and also served as one of the first conveners of the Australian Greens.

“Louise was a wonderful role model of female leadership and friendship. She was generous, kind, compassionate, strong and never lost her passion for people, music, ideas and new experiences. To the last she was a champion for women.

Bob Brown said, “Louise Crossley was an eminent Tasmanian scientist, author, environmentalist and community leader.

“Using new computer technology, she collated the Global Charter, which binds 80 Greens parties around the world, from the wintry Antarctic base on Macquarie Island.

“She had a great no-nonsense intellect, quick dry wit and keenness to protect the biosphere, not least Tasmania’s wild and scenic beauty.

“She was a Convenor of the Australian Greens and has a special place in the annals of Greens political history at state, national and global levels,” he concluded.

Vica Bayley: Farewell Louise Crossley

Dr Kevin Bonham in Comments: As many will be aware I only very rarely post here any more, but various factual errors in #1 must be corrected. There was no Senate election in 1991. Dr Crossley was actually the Greens’ lead Senate candidate for Tasmania in 1998, which wasn’t the Black River bomb year. Although the Greens’ electoral stocks in the state were at a very low ebb at that time making her task extremely difficult, a totally baffling decision by One Nation to preference the Greens resulted in a close contest with Crossley eventually missing out to Harradine and Labor by just a few thousand votes; the outcome was unclear for many days. The Black River bomb hoax actually happened in 1993 …

• Chris Harries in Comments: Kevin, here’s a little bit of inside information that may take some of the bafflement out of your clarifying post. In the 1998 election (if that date is correct) I was charged by the Greens with undertaking preference negotiations – a task that I absolutely abhorred, being fundamentally opposed to the above-the-line system. In that capacity I had gone in to witness the electoral commission’s draw on the Senate ballot slip composition. … A little bit of add-on to Louise Crossley’s candidature. Subsequent to her election campaign she had a community leadership profile on a number of issues but for some unknown reason the Mercury seemed to have it in for her, pejoratively labelling her – during the subsequent three years – simply as a ‘failed’ candidate. Owing to Louise’s legendary good nature and political awareness she took this without bitterness. She was not only an incredibly mature and thoughtful person, she had a thick skin to boot.

• Peta Colebatch, Languedoc, France in Comments: Louise was also a great navigator and clear thinker. Having brought her to Tasmania as the inaugural Director of the late lamented International Antarctic Centre, I then grew to marvel at Louise’s wide-ranging abilities in recruiting and inspiring staff, her ability to write concisely yet eloquently, her artistic sense, and her organising ability – all of this pre-dating her time as Station Leader for the Antarctic Division. She subsequently went on to many more public activities with the Greens and others, as well as book writing. In 2006 she joined me in the Languedoc, taking great delight in navigating the tiny car through haphazard villages and ever rougher and narrower roads, with hardly room for a goat let alone a petite car, while she marvelled at the wildness of this part of France. She was a great writer, traveller, adventurer, organiser, inspirer, mentor, community activist, and a friend. She will be missed, deeply.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Garry Stannus

    October 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I came across the following in my inbox this morning…
    “A Titan in our Time” [Here] I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Mark Maumill

    August 5, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I had the pleasure of being under Louise’s leadership as outgoing Mawson Station leader in 1991/1992. A no nonsense, direct leader who loved Antarctica. Sadly Missed.

  3. peta colebatch

    August 1, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Louise was also a great navigator and clear thinker. Having brought her to Tasmania as the inaugural Director of the late lamented International Antarctic Centre, I then grew to marvel at Louise’s wide-ranging abilities in recruiting and inspiring staff, her ability to write concisely yet eloquently, her artistic sense, and her organising ability – all of this pre-dating her time as Station Leader for the Antarctic Division. She subsequently went on to many more public activities with the Greens and others, as well as book writing. In 2006 she joined me in the Languedoc, taking great delight in navigating the tiny car through haphazard villages and ever rougher and narrower roads, with hardly room for a goat let alone a petite car, while she marvelled at the wildness of this part of France. She was a great writer, traveller, adventurer, organiser, inspirer, mentor, community activist, and a friend. She will be missed, deeply.

  4. Naomi Balon

    August 1, 2015 at 2:26 am

    ~ Late Fragment
    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.
    ~ Raymond Carver

    Louise was shiny-souled indeed … authentic, barefoot, bold and brave. I will remain forever inspired by her shared wisdom, grace, and generosity of spirit.

  5. Dr.John R.Wilson

    July 31, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I stand corrected (#5).
    Blessings on you …

  6. matt lyons

    July 31, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    LOL @ Chris Harries. It must be your charisma. I think there was more to it than that.

  7. Ralph Wessman

    July 31, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    sorry to hear this

  8. Chris Harries

    July 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Kevin, here’s a little bit of inside information that may take some of the bafflement out of your clarifying post.

    In the 1998 election (if that date is correct) I was charged by the Greens with undertaking preference negotiations – a task that I absolutely abhorred, being fundamentally opposed to the above-the-line system. In that capacity I had gone in to witness the electoral commission’s draw on the Senate ballot slip composition.

    Seeing an unknown man sitting alone I sat next to him and opened some small talk, in a manner of just being friendly (such is my nature). He let it be known that he was the One Nation candidate and also the preference negotiator for that group and I instantly realized why he was sitting all alone. Everyone was sitting as far away from him as they possibly could so as not to be tainted. I departed as soon as the draw had been completed.

    What happened next totally horrified me. The same man rang me up the next morning and informed me that in Tasmania they were preferencing the Greens. I was totally astonished and aghast and immediate informed him that the Greens wouldn’t be returning the favour. He said that wouldn’t alter their position. (Reading between the lines I got the impression that he also thought that the above-the-line-system was inadequate and maybe that is what sparked him, who knows?)

    My gesture of simple friendliness had gone badly wrong. But it caused quite a few laughs at my expense.

    This experience hardened my opposition to the above-the-line voting system even further, to the extent that I subsequently wrote up a submission for reform to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on electoral matters reasoning how they could make it much fairer and democratic and still cope with the problem of very long ballot slips.

    **********

    A little bit of add-on to Louise Crossley’s candidature. Subsequent to her election campaign she had a community leadership profile on a number of issues but for some unknown reason the Mercury seemed to have it in for her, pejoratively labelling her – during the subsequent three years – simply as a ‘failed’ candidate. Owing to Louise’s legendary good nature and political awareness she took this without bitterness. She was not only an incredibly mature and thoughtful person, she had a thick skin to boot.

  9. Dr Kevin Bonham

    July 31, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    As many will be aware I only very rarely post here any more, but various factual errors in #1 must be corrected. There was no Senate election in 1991. Dr Crossley was actually the Greens’ lead Senate candidate for Tasmania in 1998, which wasn’t the Black River bomb year. Although the Greens’ electoral stocks in the state were at a very low ebb at that time making her task extremely difficult, a totally baffling decision by One Nation to preference the Greens resulted in a close contest with Crossley eventually missing out to Harradine and Labor by just a few thousand votes; the outcome was unclear for many days.

    The Black River bomb hoax actually happened in 1993. The affected candidate in 1993 was Judy Henderson who was defeated by a substantial margin of 2.3% (not the less than 1% sometimes claimed.) Though it would hardly have helped matters, it’s unclear whether the bomb hoax was the primary cause of Henderson’s defeat. The other obvious candidate was the collapse of the Democrat vote in Tasmania that year as a result of infighting in the Democrats ticket. The Democrats preferenced the Greens above the line but many of their deserting voters would have gone to the major parties or Harradine.

  10. Chris Harries

    July 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Louise was as well known in the science community as she was in the environmental community. Her leadership in science goes way back, predating the more recent empowerment of women within academic circles. She had an abiding love of music too.

    Whenever I thought of Louise I was stupefied by her formidable cerebral acumen, her ability to not be overwhelmed by any given situation but calmly analyse it and provide feedback with uncanny astuteness right there and then…. every single time.

    But mostly I was awed by her brazen decisiveness, taking life by the throat, always adventuring and inquiring and doing things differently. And doing it all with good humour and grace and respect for others.

    She did this to the very end. She was a great inspiration to a huge number of people.

  11. Jenny Weber

    July 31, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Our planet is better for it after the committed active life that Louise had. I was blessed to work alongside Louise in the Tasmanian forest campaigns. Her mentoring role as a formidable woman leader is matched by only a few in Tasmania.
    Her passion for Bruny Island forests, the critical refuge for the Swift Parrot, was her daily work for many years.
    Louise gave enormous support to the Huon Valley Environment Centre and its volunteers for the long haul.
    It is very sad to lose the company and wisdom of Louise, fighting for those precious Bruny forests until just the last weeks.
    If ever you look out over the wild seas of Bruny buffeted by the forested skyline, remember Louise Crossley. A friend, an activist, a true Green, a woman, a leader.

  12. Garry Stannus

    July 31, 2015 at 12:25 am

    For some time, we on TT only knew of her as ‘lmxly’. (see her various comments by searching within TT by that signature). Her comments were informed and well written. Here’s one of her TT comments that shows how her compass extended beyond science et al. … into politics:

    Labor Green Accord in 1989.  History tends to be written by the powerful, which is why the conventional wisdom about the end of the Accord is that the Greens broke it, but this is not true. 
    The Accord included an agreement that the woodchip quota not exceed a certain tonnage – my recollection is 2.89 million tons.  However, the Resource Security legislation introduced by the Labor minority government would exceed this tonnage.  The Greens warned Michael Field that if passed, this legisation would violate the Accord.  Field ignored this warning, presented the legislation in parliament and it was passed by the Lab/Lib majority, with only the Greens voting against it.  The Greens then informed Field that this action released them from the Accord, which also included a commitment by the Greens not to support any vote of no confidence.  With the Accord broken by Labor, when the Liberals moved a vote of no confidence in Labor, the Greens supported it and the Field Labor minority government fell.
    The Labor party has always maintained that in supporting the Liberal no confidence motion, the Greens broke the Accord and caused the fall of Field’s government.  Certainly the Greens, support for the Liberal no confidence motion did precipitate the fall of the Field government.  However, the Accord was already broken – by Field himself.

    I only knew ‘lmxly’ (Louise Crossley) through her TT comments, am surprised – and gratified – to learn that she was the first convenor of the Tasmanian Greens. For me, her intelligent comments in TT from time to time should be recognised as one (modest) part of her legacy.

  13. Dr.John R.Wilson

    July 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    The late Louise Crossley would probably have been elected to the Australian Senate in 1991, had it not been for media frenzy caused by the Black River bomb hoax in North-West Tasmania.

    The story broke in all three of the State’s newspapers on the morning of the Senate election, circumventing blackout rules.

    It generated sensationalised and groundless allegations against the Greens and environmentalists who had been campaigning against Forestry Tasmania and Gunns logging old-growth forests, and there was no time to refute these allegations, or to minimise their impact on voters.

    It was disastrous for Louise’s vote, and as the day unfolded, this appeared to have been its whole purpose.

    The incident was never thoroughly investigated by Tasmania’s Police, and nobody has ever been charged, which is not terribly surprising, given the overt politicisation of the Police Services at that time.

    As outgoing Greens Senator Christine Milne sees it: “This pattern of behaviour is a regular occurrence in the long running campaign to save Tasmania’s forests. It began with the allegation of the Black River bomb in 1991 and continues to this day. At a critical time in any negotiation, allegations of vandalism are made and ultimately no one is ever charged. But in the meantime, maximum media attention is garnered to support the logging industry and environmentalists are blamed, abused and harassed. The intention is to take the spotlight off the industry. In this case [referring to the 2012 allegations of tree-spiking by the then Premier Lara Giddings] Ta Ann was under scrutiny for taking logs from high conservation forests and Forestry Tasmania was under pressure to admit that it had overallocated and overcut the forests. Ta Ann shed jobs and tensions were running high. What a perfect time to rev up anger against the conservation movement rather than focus on who really is responsible for the disastrous failure to manage Tasmania’s forest industry. This pattern of behaviour has to stop. I will not stop following up these incidents until the perpetrators of the fake Black River bomb and the vandalism of machinery in the Southern Forests are found (http://christine-milne.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/no-evidence-tree-spiking-tasmania-police)”

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