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Biographical entry Thompson, George Thomas (1895 - 1987)

Born
15 December 1895
Ascot Vale, Victoria, Australia
Died
10 October 1987
Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Conservationist and Surveyor

Summary

George Thompson was a surveyor who played a central role in major conservation issues in Victoria from the 1930s. As surveyor for the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission he observed the degraded water systems and land erosion resulting from land clearance, poor agricultural practices, mining and intervention in rivers. In consequence, conservation and remedial work became his principal professional focus life. Lobbying by Thompson and others resulted in Victoria's Soil Conservation Act of 1940. He held executive positions in the new Soil Conservation Board and was Chairman of the Soil Conservation Authority from 1950 to 1961. Thompson was also involved in community conservation groups, including the Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria and the Save our Bushlands Action Committee, which successfully opposed Government plans to subdivide the Little Desert in western Victoria into farms. He was involved in the formation of the Conservation Council of Victoria in 1969.

Details

Events

1916 - 1919
Career position - Served with Australian Imperial Forces
1921 - 1923
Career position - Surveyor-in-Charge, Red Cliffs soldier-settlement project, State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, Victoria
1935 - 1941
Career position - Councillor, Victorian Institute of Surveyors
1935 - 1946
Career position - Executive Engineer, Rivers and Streams Branch, State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, Victoria
1943 - 1946
Career position - Member (part-time) and Deputy Chairman, Soil Conservation Board
1947 - 1950
Career position - Executive Officer, Soil Conservation Board, Victoria
1950 - 1961
Career position - Chairman, Soil Conservation Authority
1953 - 1954
Career position - President, Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria
1961
Life event - Retired
1962 - 1972
Career position - Director, Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria
1965
Award - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
1972 - 1973
Career position - President, Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Books

  • Robin, Libby, Building a Forest Conscience: an Historical Portrait of the Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria (NRCL), Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria, Melbourne, 1991, 155 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Garden, Donald S., 'Thompson, George Thomas (1895-1987), Surveyor and Conservationist', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 18, 2012, p. 504. Details

See also

  • Powell, J. M., Watering the garden state: water, land and community in Victoria, 1834 - 1988, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1989, 319 pp. Details
  • Robin, Libby, Defending the Little Desert: the Rise of Ecological Consciousness in Australia, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1998, 215 pp. Details

Helen Cohn