Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peter Hamilton (1924 - 2008), passing of an Earth champion

People from across the Northern Rivers of New South Wales will gather next Saturday 1 November at Bodhi Farm near The Channon to celebrate the life of Peter Hamilton who died peacefully at his home in Byron Bay on Thursday 23 October.

Peter was well known and loved for his passion and commitment to community, sustainable lifestyles and the environment.

He played a leading role in the Paterson Hill campaign at Byron Bay which saw endangered plants and fauna protected in the Arakwal National Park. The hilltop area is the habitat of the endangered Byron Bay Dwarf Graminoid Clay Heath which includes the Diuris byronensis orchid, found only on these hillsides.

Having a keen interest in low-cost sustainable housing and cohesive social interaction, Peter was a key player in the creation of planning legislation allowing Multiple Occupancy in NSW. He was a founding member of the Bodhi Farm community.

Trained as an architect, in the 1960s Peter lived with Aboriginal people in Central Australia studying traditional aboriginal architecture. He made an extensive photographic study of the traditional wiltja (shelter), focusing on the construction and design in relation to desert conditions and social interaction.

Peter was a pioneer in Australian folk music recording. Together with Edgar Waters (deceased), he founded Wattle Records and Films in the 1950s and sparked an interest in traditional Australian bush music which continues today. In the late 1940s he organised the first Sydney University Film Festival which was so successful it led to the formation of the Sydney Film Festival.

As we celebrate Peter’s life, we share his wish with you: for people and governments to work together for the creation of a sane and sustainable society.

The Nine Lives of Peter Hamilton, Part 1
The Nine Lives of Peter Hamilton, Part 2

Update: Two more articles: Another obituary, at, and a documentary on Wattle Records and Films.


Anonymous mark gregory said...

there's also a tribute to Peter on the Australian Folk Songs website at


Mark Gregory

8:14 AM  
Blogger Pip said...

Many thanks, Mark.

8:30 AM  

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