1 - Dewar Wilson Goode

Date Range1 February 1907 - 28 June 2002

Pastoralist and Politician
Dewar Goode's pursuit of a land use ethic began in his formative years and started to have results when he went to Warraweena Station, Beltana, S.A., in 1927. His experience here and his studies (which continued after leaving Adelaide) convinced him that non-indigenous Australians had much to learn in caring for our basic resources - soil, water and forests. He made a name for himself not only as a top manager and stock breeder, but also as a competent politician when he fought for the small owner-managed pastoral properties in South Australia's far north in response to lease rentals. After several local public meetings, he convened and chaired a large meeting attended by the Minister and the local members of Parliament. It was after this meeting and his address to the Stockowners Association of Port Augusta that the matter was resolved in favour of the small owner-managed pastoral leases. Afterwards, Goode was invited to stand for election to parliament by both the Labor and Liberal parties.

When Goode bought the unstocked property of Malbooma in 1935, he was able to turn it around through demonstrating a management policy which was based on a sustained productivity basis in the arid 7" rainfall area. Malbooma was 360 miles west of Port Augusta. His hard work affected his health, including a peptic ulcer. In 1942 he was appointed as pastoral advisor to the Rural Industries Division of the War Organisation of Industry. He had volunteered for the army in 1939 and 1940 and was rejected. In this period, his ideals of a proper land use ethic further developed. He was associated with the top agriculturalists, economists and representatives of the full range of primary and secondary industry in Australia. He was asked by the government to report on a number of matters related to land use and resource use.

In 1945, Goode stayed on for a few months in Post War Reconstruction dealing with agricultural and pastoral industry matters. In 1946 he bought a derelict property, "Brim Brim", Coleraine, and made it his base. In the ensuing period, Dewar Goode really started to move into a wide range of conservation matters. He formed the State and Federal Land Use Committees in the Australian Primary Producers' Union (APPU) and was its first Chairman. He convened (1955) with the V.N.P.A. the public meeting which resulted in the formation of the first government National Parks Authority in Australia and was a member for 25 years. He was heavily involved as a member of council with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). He was executive member of the APPU and on finance, land use, policy and publicity committees, was district chairman (Hamilton) for five years in this period, and took charge of the devastating fires in the Western District after the 1955 bush fires - he was responsible for accomodation for people, agistment, fodder, fencing and to cabinet for finances. He initiated the Hamilton Field Naturalists Club. He was involved in Landscape Conservation and formed the National Trust Landscape Committee, which was the first time in the world that an attempt was made to classify landscape.

By the mid-sixties, due to health problems associated with a back injury incurred a decade earlier, Goode was told he should no longer work as a farmer. His first wife died suddenly in 1965, and a year later he remarried, retired and returned to Melbourne. He sold "Brim Brim" in 1968 and then bought a number of properties in the Beechworth area.

In the period after 1966, Dewar Goode was able to throw himself into the conservation movement. He was a foundation member of the ACF and the CCV, an executive member of the VNPA, CCV, T&CPA (and Honorary Secretary), Member of Council of the National Trust - Life Member, Benefactor Member and Honorary Member; Chairman and Founder of the Landscape Committee of the National Trust (Honorary Director); Member of the NPA; Member of the NRCL - Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and received the highest honour when appointed Honorary Member.

As an Associate of the Institute of Landscape Architects and Member of the NPA, Dewar Goode was asked to chair one of the plenary sessions of the Triennial meeting of the International Federation of Landscape Architects in Montreal in 1969(?). After a very successful meeting, he then went to Europe to see landscape problems. He was made a Foundation Member of the IUCN Landscape Planning Commission (later the Environmental Planning Commission), and also of the SIA.

In the early stages of his active conservation activities (NT, CCV, VNPA, T&CPA and others), Dewar Goode was very critical of the Gas & Fuel Corporation, SEC and CRB and Shires over the destruction of landscape values. It was not long before his expertise was appreciated, and he was consulted by these bodies in locating gas pipelines, SEC transmission lines and bypasses of towns. He was usually consulted in the very early stages of planning works programmes with the result that his ideas could be incorporated in the eventual works programme. He has also worked in an honorary and private capacity in various departments in regard to works programmes.

Goode was a prolific reader and writer. His first major article was published in 1935. This article resulted in the responsible Federal Minister, Senator A.J. McLachlan, calling for a report from the C.S.I.R. (later the CSIRO). Francis Ratcliffe's report saw the formation of soil investigating committees after a national meeting in 1936. In the 1940s, Soil Conservation Services (or equivalent) were established in the Australian states. It was in the mid-40s that he started his series of major articles on almost every aspect of land and resource use writing hundreds of articles. Many articles were invited by the Melbourne Age and Adelaide Advertiser and by now Goode was deemed an authority on many conservation matters. He was consulted by the Age and other papers and journals, gave many radio talks and interviews, and started his T.V. appearances, mainly for the ABC.
Due to his back injury, many articles from the mid-fifties were written from a hospital bed.

1907Born Sheoak Hills Station, Whyte Yarcowie, South Australia
1919 - 1922Education at Scotch College, Adelaide
1923 - 1926Studies Commerce at the University of Adelaide, Wool Classing at the School of Mines and Industry, and English at the Workers' Education Association
1927Offside to Pastoral Inspection with C. H. Goode (father), nine months. Jackeroo on Canowie Sheep and Cattle Stud, three months
1928Jackeroo and de facto manager at "Warraweena" station, Flinders Ranges
1929 - 1935Manager of "Warraweena", Flinders Ranges
1935 - 1951Member Executive, Finance, Legal and Land Use Committees for Australian Primary Producers Union or APPU (later National Farmers Union).
1935 - 1949Manager and owner of "Malbooma", Trans-Australian Railway west of Port Augusta
1935 - 1942Justice of the Peace, South Australia
1939Dewar marries Elizabeth Magarey
1940Dewar and Elizabeth's first child, Elizabeth is born
1942 - 1946Dewar serves in the Rural Industries Division of War Organisation of Industry for three years as Commonwealth Pastoral Adviser, at the same time owning and managing a property ("Malbooma") in South Australia.
1942Dewar and Elizabeth's second daughter, Margaret is born
1943Dewar and Elizabeth's son , Thomas is born
1946 - 1966Manager and owner of "Brim Brim", Coleraine, Victoria
1946 - 1972Foundation member and executive member, Conservation Council of Victoria (CCV)
1950 - 2002?President, Executive member, Honorary member, National Resources Conservation League
1956 - 1982Foundation member of the National Parks Authority and member of National Parks Service Advisory Committee
1958?, Late 1950s.Hamilton Field Naturalists Group - Founder and first President.
c. 1960 - 1969?, 1960sAustralian Conservation Foundation - Foundation member. Principal organiser of Arid Lands Congress. ACF Representative in Victorian Government Salinity Working Group
1962 - 1977National Trust of Australia (Victoria) - Life member, Benefactor member and Honorary member.
1964Elizabeth Magarey dies
1965Dewar marries Margaret (Peg) Morris (née Hyett).
1968 - 1981International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
1968Chairman, plenary session of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), Montreal, Canada
1969Presented at the IUCN Conference, Dehli, India
1969Member of the Landscape Planning Commission (now Environmental Planning Commission), land use consultant and participant in UNESCO/IUCN land use project near Calcutta for the government of West Bengal
1970Australian representative at the first World Conference on Recreation, Geneva, Switzerland
1970 - 1980Manager and part-owner of "Golden Ball" and others, Beechworth, Victoria
c. 1970 - c. 1979, 1970sCouncil for Historic Environment - Foundation Member
1972 - 1975Landscape Planning Commission - Vice-Chairman
1976 - 1984Environmental Planning Commission - consultant and member Roadsides Committee - Founder and first chairman
1980Initiator of an Agricultural and Grazing Experimental Station on Tatuba Island, Vanuatu, working with the Australian and Vanuatuan governments
1980Member of the organisational committee for national conference, Focus on Farm Trees
1981?Honorary member of the National Resources Conservation League
1981Awarded A. M. for services to conservation
1981?Honorary member of the National Trust
1982Member of the organisational committee for national conference, Focus on Australia's Arid Zone
ReferencesOates, Nan, 'Introducing Dewar Goode', Trees and Natural Resources Vol. 30 No.2
Biographical material, Austehc Projects GOOD/1990/37 Goode, Dewar Wilson (1907- ) CENTRAL FILE - Melbourne, Part 1.
Series1  Personal and Biographical 1860 - 1992

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on AustehcWeb, August 2008
With support from R.E. Ross Trust
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