Friends of Melaleuca WILDCARE

Mick Lawrence – Photo by Greg Wells

Tasmanian surfing legend, film-maker, writer and environmentalist Mick Lawrence recently passed away. His knowledge and love of the Southwest increased as he paddled the waterways of Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour, filming as he went. In recent years Mick became a guide with Par Avion on their camps near Melaleuca. Those who met him will remember an unassuming, gentle man with a quirky sense of humour, someone at home in wild places, especially on the water.

Many of you will remember his wonderful film, Rogue Waves shown at the State Cinema in 2019. The film is a sensitive and thought-provoking reflection on Mick’s own life, human life, and the value and healing role of wild nature. He was a strong environmentalist, inspiring others with his respect and love for wild places in Tasmania. A rogue wave, in the form of a massive heart attack, took him in mid-June.

Mick was also the talent behind the filming at last year’s Friends of Melaleuca’s event ‘Sounds of the Southwest’. We asked him to put together a few images to accompany a recording of Nigel Westlake’s ‘Spirit of the Wild’, a concerto inspired by Westlake’s trip to Bathurst Harbour. Mick rose to this difficult challenge, not just cobbling together a few images, but creating a breathtaking production echoing the riffs and patterns of the dynamic oboe performance by Diana Doherty.

Mick’s stills and film sequences follow the story of a Par Avion Camp (where Mick and Greg Wells are guides). The camp, the landscape, foreshores and waterway in varied moods, abstract detail, a visiting quoll, a swimming snake, and the human, quirky, light hearted touch so typical of Mick, are all bracketed by the flight to and from Melaleuca. The audience was spellbound.

Mick touched the lives of many people and will be sadly missed.