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Vale Louise Crossley


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 17 September 2015

Tags: Music, Environment

Ms WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I pay tribute and celebrate the life of Dr Louise Crossley.  Louise Crossley was an inspiration to everyone who met her.  She was a great Tasmanian, a great Australian and a great member of this planet.  She was an eminent scientist, author, environmentalist and community leader.  Her legacy will live on in many ways, from the joy she brought to so many people's lives to her work for the forests and the Antarctic, for which she campaigned very actively to save.  She was an active person for the Greens parties here and around the world and a supporter of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, about which she was incredibly passionate. 

Dr Crossley led a remarkable life full of high achievement, driven by a curiosity, exploration and passion for the natural world and the people around her.  She was a great traveller and a person who made things happen from her days at the Powerhouse Museum in 1985 to the Commission for the Future to her leadership of the Australian Antarctic Division and, more recently, her work to help establish the Australian and global Greens. 

In recent years she came to prominence as a strong campaigner for Tasmania's forests, especially those on Bruny Island, having built herself a yurt there from which to relish the wildness of that area.  Bruny Island was the last in a long line of adventures for Dr Crossley.  She loved the Antarctic and was a pioneer as a station leader at Mawson base in 1991, only the second woman in Australia to lead such a base.  Later she spent two seasons on Macquarie Island and became very involved in the successful pest eradication program there.  After leaving the division she worked as a lecturer on several voyages to the Antarctic and never lost her passion for the ice, the wildlife and the Southern Ocean. 

In the 1990s she settled in Tasmania and turned her attention to politics.  She was the first convenor of the Tasmanian Greens, stood as the Greens Senate candidate in Tasmania in 1998 and also served as one of the first convenors of the Australian Greens.  In the lead-up to the first global Greens congress in Canberra in 2001, while on Macquarie Island she drafted the text of the global Greens charter which successfully melded ideas from the Greens parties around the world into a set of principles that was ratified at the congress and continues as the founding document of the global Greens today. 

She brought her great intellect to the challenge of global warming and not only helped research and write on the subject but addressed it personally, deciding to attend the second global Greens meeting in Sao Paolo, Brazil without her feet leaving the ground.  She travelled around the world by bus, train, ferry and freighter until eventually arriving at the meeting.  Seeing the organisational shortcomings of that great meeting, she threw herself into making the conference the success it was. 

She was a wonderful role model of female leadership and friendship.  She was generous, compassionate and strong and never lost her passion for people, music, ideas and new experiences.  She brought people together from all walks of life and enhanced all of us who knew her.  She loved the TSO and took pride in how many women were in that orchestra and hoped that one day we would see as many women as men conducting orchestras around the world.  To the last she was a champion for women and the environment that she loved.  Vale Louise Crossley.