• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0683

Hardy, Barbara Rosemary

(1927 – )
  • Born 1 January, 1927, Largs Bay South Australia Australia
  • Occupation Environmentalist, Scientist


Barbara Hardy, née Begg, was born at Largs Bay, Adelaide. She attended Woodlands Girls’ School and began a science degree at Adelaide University aged 16. She married Tom Hardy in 1948. During the 1950s and 60s family and sport were Barbara’s chief interests, however camping holidays also awakened her concern for the environment. In 1972 she began voluntary work with the Conservation Council and in 1974 started a degree in earth sciences at Flinders University. With growing expertise as a lobbyist, Barbara assisted David Wotton, Shadow and then Minister for the Environment in the late 70s and early 80s. Her husband died in 1980. Barbara resigned from the Liberal Party so that her activism could be non-party based, and since then has applied her ‘patience, persistence and perspiration’ to many organisations and issues, including the Australian Heritage Commission, Landcare, the National Parks Foundation and the Science and Technology Centre.


  • 1987 - 1987

    Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘for service to conservation and the community’

  • 2014 - 2014

    SA Senior Australian of the Year

Published resources

Archival resources

  • State Library of South Australia
    • Interview with Barbara Hardy [sound recording] Interviewer: June Donovan
    • The River Murray - Test Case for the Environment and the Constitution: A Public Forum [sound recording]