Olegas Truchanas

Olegas Truchanas (192372), photographer, explorer, 1960s pioneer conservationist; Lithuanian migrant to Tasmania, 1948, and staff member, Head Office, Hydro-Electric Commission, Hobart. Dismayed by the Commission's plan to violate a Scenic Reserve by flooding Lake Pedder and its incomparable beach, simply to 'top up' an already massive power development, he began public screenings of his wonderful photographs of the lake. Record crowds became aware of impending tragic loss. To save the lake, federal funding was offered, and bluntly rejected. Concurrently, in 1969, Truchanas saved, almost single-handedly, Tasmania's last unlogged Huon pine forest, after bitter resistance from forestry interests. This reserve now bears his name. As councillor of the Australian Conservation Foundation, he advanced Tasmania's concerns nationally. He was accidentally drowned in the Gordon River, 6 January 1972.

Further reading: M Angus, The world of Olegas Truchanas, Hobart, 1975.

Max Angus