In the mid 20th century, initial tourism popularity was sparked by international media coverage of the island lifestyles of two celebrated artists, renowned weaver, the late Bruce Arthur who set up an artist's colony on Dunk Island and colourful artist, the late Noel Wood who set up home on beautiful Bedarra Island. There was a very strong connection to the Victorian Monsalvat art movement with artists of renown such as (John Olsen, Clifton Pugh, and Fred Williams to name a few) who frequented the area to collaborate on projects with the island artists.
The connection between artists and conservation has an unbroken alliance at Mission Beach. Former Monsalvat artist and conservation pioneer John Busst also owned land and lived on Bedarra island for many years before moving to Bingil Bay where he led the campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef from lime mining and oil exploration
alongside poet Judith Wright and scientist Len Web.
Liz Gallie, best known for her unique handmade jewellery made from local lawyer cane and precious metals, adopted Mission Beach as her home in 1974 after visiting what Liz terms "The most beautiful place I had ever seen. To those who discovered Mission Beach at a time when it was undeveloped except for farmland and one small motel, it was known as 'Mission Beach Magic'.
Liz's work evolved from basket weaving to jewellery making and was exhibited alongside established and emerging artists including Ben Trupperbaumer, Ray Crooke, Siri Omberg, Michael Pugh, Deanna Conti,
Diana Crooke and Susan Kirk
At that time, the dense tropical rainforest, grew down to shade the long sandy beaches that stretched out in greeting to the offshore islands. The magnificent prehistoric cassowary wandered freely in its traditional domain and out onto the beaches.
Liz now balances her time between creating her unique style of jewellery and channeling her talents to deliver a powerful conservation message against inappropriate development, which she believes is compromising the unique lifestyle and will diminish cassowary populations.
The cassowary has been included in a new 'rainforest' range of jewellery. 10% of the profit from this range is donated to help conservation efforts within the cassowary coast and in particular the endangered cassowary.
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