David Tranter was born in 1929 and spent his early years in far north Queensland. At University in Brisbane he became involved with the Queensland National Parks Association. Years later he moved to Sydney and met Paul Barnes. That led to David becoming a founding member of the NSW National Parks Association (1957).
David, along with wife Helen, had a strong love of bushwalking and natural areas, and remained a member of NPA until his death in July this year.
David was active with the National Parks Association for many years. In the early years he was involved with the efforts to establish what became the National Parks and Wildlife Service and associated legislation. He served on State Council for many years, including as Secretary. During his time as Secretary, NPA was active in preparing detailed submissions to the Commission of Inquiry into the National Estate (c 1973). These submissions included the various park proposals prepared by the organisation and was accompanied by a chartered flights to show the National Estate Committee some of the proposed areas in Sydney, the Hunter and the Blue Mountains.
NPA grew rapidly at this point and David, as secretary, was involved in establishing what is now known as the National Parks Australia Council, an affiliation of the NPAs of various states around Australia. It was also at this time that he formed the Membership Recruiting Committee, which prepared a starter pack for members to form new branches of NPA.
The Southern Highlands Branch formed later, and with NPA Executive and State Council, was instrumental in the creation of Nattai National Park, and the relocation of the Fitzroy Falls visitors centre.
David and Helen retired to Robertson in the Southern Highlands and remained active with the local environment community, as members of Southern Highlands Branch of NPA, and actively involved with the Robertson Environment Protection Society.
David is remembered as an inspirational speaker, as recounted by Gary Schoer, one of our most active members:
“David’s local NPA talk on Antarctica when Southern Sydney Branch was a sub-branch of Sydney back in ’73 got me into NPA and ultimately to Antarctica four times so moved as I was by pictures he had taken while a scientist in Antarctica.”
David is remembered by many in the NPA community and our thoughts are with Helen.
Ed note: In 2001, David was interviewed as part of an Oral History project for NPA. Much of the information include above was taken from the transcript.
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