2012 Environmentalist of the Year Award

Jenny Weber

Jenny Weber has been a volunteer forest activist for the past 15 years, spending the last 10 years instigating and coordinating hundreds of direct action campaigns in Tasmania’s southern world heritage forests for the Huon Valley Environment Centre. Her single vision has been to protect the natural values of these forests against the pressures of clearfell logging for woodchips and veneer for overseas logging companies.

Jenny has been the prime motivator and supporter of the Environment Centre’s forest protection activities. In 2006, she coordinated a 14 month long blockade in the Weld Valley. The blockade was dismantled and 50 people were arrested during protests about the building of a new road into wilderness areas.

She has been the backroom organiser of direct action campaigns and public demonstrations, as well as the front-of-house media spokesperson. She is also a hands-on researcher: she surveys and reports on threatened biodiversity and logging operations. She is committed to educating the public, and conducts open days into threatened logging areas, and curates art exhibitions to raise funds.

A driving force for Jenny’s environmental campaigning is the power of people mobilising together and acting non-violently to put a spotlight on an issue and so bring about change.

Jenny has been arrested four times after taking action to stop old growth forest logging. She was a defendant, along with her husband, in the Gunns 20 lawsuit. In 2010 she co-authored a report about the role of the company Ta Ann in the logging of ancient forests, and in their misrepresentation of the wood supply to their Japanese corporate customers. She travelled to Japan to inform Ta Ann’s corporate customers about the true provenance of the timber they were sourcing.

Jenny works behind the scenes to provide moral support to defendants who face court and imprisonment for their actions, and to raise funds for legal costs – from the Weld Angel who was famously pursued by Forestry Tasmania, to an activist who needed $5000 to be released from remand.

Jenny Weber has a sociology degree from the University of Wollongong, NSW. She is married to Adam Burling, a fellow forest activist, and they have two children.

More information about Jenny.

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