Brenda Hean

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Brenda Hean (1910-1972) was a member of the Lake Pedder Action Committee (LPAC) and a resident of Hobart, Tasmania at the time of the flooding of Lake Pedder.

Background[edit]

Brenda Hean was a concert pianist, church organist and leader of the Arts Club of Hobart and member of the Hobart Walking Club. She was a deeply committed Christian.[1]

Involvement in the Save Lake Pedder Campaign[edit]

Brenda Hean was one of the early campaigners against the flooding of Lake Pedder in the Tasmanian Wilderness. "The real driving force behind the LPAC was Brenda Hean...she always raised Lake Pedder, and they said 'It's nothing to do with us.' But she said 'Yes it is, because it's your conscience."[2]

"She sat upon a block of quartzite which had been etched by the weather and was ornamented by a patchwork of moss and lichen. Her chin was thrust defiantly forward. As she gazed across the lake she seemed to become one with it, and both of them seemed to become part of something greater."[1]

"She was so disillusioned with her church-her centre was going to the Lake [Lake Pedder], she mounted part of the vigil there on her own. I think that she had come to the conclusion that if she gave her life for Lake Pedder that extreme sacrifice would move people. They'd suddenly say: 'This is not good enough, when such a nice person's life is lost for this.' In her mind I think she had made that decision."[3]

Death[edit]

Brenda Hean is the subject of a book and documentary film about her disappearance in 1972, they were both produced in 2008.[4] Brenda Hean was lost on a flight to Canberra with Max Price in a Tiger Moth to gain support for the stopping of the flooding of Lake Pedder. Eric Reece and the Hydro-Electric Commission's disinterest in complaints as to their manner of dealing with opposition to their plans gave the impression that they ran Tasmania without any checks. Hean and Price were trying to widen the scope of the opposition in mainland Australia, in a way that the subsequent Franklin Dam protest did some ten years later. Shortly before the flight she received a threatening phone call: 'Mrs Hean, how would you like to go for a swim?'[5] It was suspected that pro-dam campaigners had broken into the plane's hangar the night before it took off and placed sugar in one of its petrol tanks.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kevin Kiernan 'I Saw My Temple Ransacked' in Bob Brown (ed) Lake Pedder. [[The Wilderness Society (Australia)|]] 1986 p 19.
  2. ^ Dick Jones. 'The Pedder Tragedy' in Roger Green. Battle for The Franklin. Fontana. ACF. Sydney 1981 p 53
  3. ^ Dick Jones. 'The Pedder Tragedy' in Roger Green. Battle for The Franklin. Fontana. ACF. Sydney 1981 p68
  4. ^ Millwood, Scott Whatever happened to Brenda Hean? Allen & Unwin. Sydney 2008, ISBN 978-1-74175-611-1
  5. ^ Millwood, Scott Whatever happened to Brenda Hean? Allen & Unwin. Sydney 2008, ISBN 978-1-74175-611-1 p 274
  6. ^ Millwood, Scott Whatever happened to Brenda Hean? Allen & Unwin. Sydney 2008, ISBN 978-1-74175-611-1 p208.