‘Guardians of the Wild’

Upstairs from a bustling Salamanca market, something special was brewing as the Pedder Elders gathered. Admiring the emotive exhibition works, they and their loved ones produced in before the flooding of Lake Pedder. Galvanising an urgency to save the lake these artworks showcase the remarkable beauty of Pedder. The formidable group, Patsy Jones, Melva Truchanas, Chris Cowles, Bob Graham, Dick Friend and friends spoke of the times when access to the wilderness of the ‘Empty Quarter’ involved walking, trackless and entirely self sufficiently from Maydena or in the summer of course flying in light aircraft to the shores of Lake Pedder. 

Stories unraveled: “Sleeping in a tent, on a boat, up a tree.”, a visit from Deny King, the tragic loss of Brenda Hean and Max Price, late nights producing campaign material and the lifelong comradery that resulted from the extreme commitment and tenacity.

Under the powerful campaign watercolour piece by the late Max Angus, the mighty Frankland Range towered over a minuscular Sydney Opera house placed at the end of the beach, a scaled image in demonstration of the enormity of Pedder and what would be lost, the Pedder Elders gathered for a group photo. In a heart fulfilling moment for all, when one expected melancholy, the Pedder people lit up. They beamed with enduring optimism, knowing one day, soon, Lake Pedder and the serpentine valley will see another South-West summer.

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