Tribute to Gavin and Rory

April 24, 1991

HOBART — Asia-Pacific Action Group wishes to express its deep regret and loss at the recent deaths of two special Tasmanian green activists, Rory Doohan and Gavin McKenzie.

Both Gavin and Rory devoted their recent lives to preserving the planet for future generations. Each worked directly on the essential issues at hand, refusing to compromise their principles and living by their philosophies. They took very little from this planet, giving much more than they took. Common to both was their wonderful sense of humour which made campaigning creative and alive.

Each made a different and unique contribution.

Rory was instrumental in the campaign to stop McDonald's entering Tasmania and to expose its environmentally damaging practices. He played a key role in having ozone layer protection legislation introduced in this state.

Reflecting his affinity with nature, Rory worked tirelessly for the protection of endangered birds such as native ducks and shearwaters. When other Wilderness Society workers were exhausted, Rory still had energy to do the everyday things and became their raffle coordinator extraordinaire.

Gavin's concerns covered a wide spectrum of justice and environment issues. He threw his energy behind many campaigns including Green election campaigns and TWS rainforest and mining campaigns. At every rally Gavin was there, willing to be arrested. In fact, during the Gay Law Reform campaign, he was arrested every week at the Salamanca protests.

It was to his credit that the campaign to stop cable logging at Hellyer in the state's north-west was initiated. One issue most dear to his heart was the protection of wild birds, for which he campaigned passionately.

Such good activists are rare, but they have touched deeply those who worked with them and their spirit remains.
We are not here just to survive and live long ...
We are here to live and know life all its dimensions
to know life in its richness,
in all its variety.
And when a person lives life, as Rory and Gavin did,
in all its richness,
welcoming life's possibilities and challenges —
rising to the occasion
then life becomes a flame,
life blooms.

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