Greenpeace Australia Pacific

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Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Greenpeace logo.svg
Founded 1977, Australia
Type Non-governmental organization
Focus Environmentalism, peace
Area served
Australia, Pacific
Method Direct action, lobbying, research, innovation
Key people
David RitterChief Executive Officer

Greenpeace Australia Pacific (GPAP) is the regional office of the global environmental organization Greenpeace. Greenpeace Australia Pacific is one of Australia's largest environmental organisations.

Origins and formation[edit]

Greenpeace Australia had its roots in 1974 when Rolf Heimann skippered the 30-foot Tahiti ketch La Flor (temporarily renamed Greenpeace IV) from Melbourne to Mururoa via New Zealand, to protest against French atmospheric nuclear testing, but arrived after the final nuclear test for the year. La Flor is currently being restored at Goolwa in South Australia.[1]

An activist group, the Whale and Dolphin Coalition, formed in Sydney by Australian photographer Jonny Lewis[2] and French businessman Jean-Paul Fortom-Gouin,[3] invited Canadian Bob Hunter,[4] Greenpeace co-founder and its first president, and his wife Bobbi, Greenpeace's first treasurer, to Australia in 1977. They needed their expertise honed in the North Pacific against the Soviet whaling fleet.

Greenpeace's first direct action in Australia opened on 28 August 1977, at Albany, Western Australia against Australia's last whaling station. Over the next three weeks, Lewis, Fortom-Gouin, Bob Hunter and Australians Tom Barber and Allan Simmons used Zodiacs to place themselves between the harpoons of the three whale chaser ships and sperm whales up to 30 miles offshore. There were two near misses with harpoons but no injuries.

The Whale and Dolphin Coalition then morphed into Greenpeace Australia with animal rights campaigner Richard Jones registering the entity and Sydney journalist Jodi Adams becoming Greenpeace Australia's first coordinator. The organisation's first assets included a Zodiac from the Albany campaign.[5]

Australians harpooned their last whale—a female sperm whale—on 20 November 1978. The Cheyne Beach Whaling Station ended operations the next day.

Amalgamation and campaigns since 1998[edit]

In early 1998 Greenpeace Australia and Greenpeace Pacific teamed up to become Greenpeace Australia Pacific (GPAP). The campaign against whaling has been very successful, and the issue has had some support from the Australian Government since the late 1990s.[citation needed]

The organisation also campaigns against nuclear weapons and nuclear power, deforestation, the release of genetically engineered organisms into the natural environment, climate change, toxics, bottom trawling and overfishing. It uses tactics of non-violent direct action to draw attention to what it considers significant threats to the environment, and then lobbies for solutions.

Solutions include clean energy, protection of ancient forests, establishment of marine reserves, protection of biodiversity and government and international regulation of environmentally destructive practices.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weyler, Rex (2004-10-06). Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World. Rodale. ISBN 9781594861062. 
  2. ^ "About | Jon Lewis". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  3. ^ "The last whale". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  4. ^ "Eulogy for Robert Hunter – 1941-2005 - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society". Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  5. ^ Pash, Chris (2008). The Last Whale. North Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Press. pp. 218 p. ISBN 978-1-921361-32-6. 

External links[edit]