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Barbara Hardy: State Library collection items

Dr Barbara Hardy AO has led an exemplary public life of advocacy and science devoted to the environment. Her environmental activism has focused on communicating ideas, lobbying decision makers, raising funds and educating the community.

It is probably through her voice and presence that Barbara Hardy is best known, but she has also written and published on environmental topics. 

'Conservation of geological monuments as heritage items' by Barbara Hardy,  written as member of the Geological Society of Australia, South Australian Division in The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material in ICCM Bulletin Vol. 13 No. 1 & 2 1987, pp. 107-115. 

This article was written for an international audience and describes work being done at Hallett Cove, at Arckaringa Hills in the Painted Desert north of Coober Pedy, and at Christmas Cove on Kangaroo Island.

Adelaide: water of a city  editor in chief: Christopher B. Daniels ; photography by John Hodgson ; foreword by Barbara Hardy. Wakefield Press, 2010. In her foreword Barbara Hardy ‘fervently recommends’ that people read this beautiful and informative publication.

Spaceship Earth: Planet Earth is the only sustainable spaceship known by W.D. Williams. [Adelaide : Barbara Hardy and Bob Lewis], 2003 

Articles about Barbara Hardy


  • 6 October 1997, pp. 7 ill., 'Golden Jubilee approaches' by Adrienne Eccles. Story about Year 1947 graduates to assemble at the University of Adelaide to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of their graduation.

The Advertiser

  •  26 January 1982, pp. 21 A woman of impact' by Marina Craig. Story about Barbara Hardy: delegate to the Conservation Council of S.A. from the Field Geology Club of S.A.; a commissioner of Commonwealth Serum Laboratories; commissioner of the Australian Heritage Commission, board member of the A.M.P. and of the S.A. Energy Council; research assistant to the Minister of Environment and Planning; former State representative in golf and badminton (article includes interview notes)
  • 3 June 1982, pp. 8 'Woman gains service award.' Story about Adelaide Rotary Club's community service award.   

SA Life

  •  May 2004, pp.38-40 port. 'Barbara Hardy: activist' by Don Riddell
  • May 2008, pp. 48-9 ill., 'I Danced With The Ballet Russe!' by Lance Campbell. Story about the Ballet Russes in Adelaide and the experiences of sisters Barbara and Jenny Begg, later Barbara Hardy and Jenny Botten. 

Stock Journal

  • 3 December 1981, pp. 43 port. 'Board appointment makes AMP history' by Janet Marshall. Story about Barbara Hardy being the first woman appointed to the board of the AMP Society's South Australian branch in 1981. She was able to combine her interest in conservation of the natural environment with the needs of energy resource development.

Voice recordings

Oral histories can provide insights into people and events that are not documented in books. The State Library has three recordings of Barbara Hardy speaking in its JD Somerville Oral History Collection.
Interview With Barbara Hardy AO [Sound Recording] Interviewer: Peter Donovan OH 936. This is available as a recording only.
Interview With Barbara Hardy [Sound Recording] Interviewer: June Donovan Hardy, Recorded on 3 March and 2 April 1994 2 hours 56 minutes 1994    OH 250/7 Oral history of Women's Political Activity. This is available as a recording and a written transcript with three photographs.
The River Murray - test case for the environment and the Constitution: a public forum held on 30 June 1997. A recording of a public forum presented by the Constitutional Centenary Foundation in association with the State Library of South Australia in the Institute Building of the State Library of South Australia. The purpose of the forum was to explore how the River Murray, a key issue in the Adelaide session of the 1897-1898 Australasian Federal Convention, has remained a classic issue of relations between South Australia and the federal government. Dr Barbara Hardy, scientist and environmentalist, spoke to the topic Science, the environment and the constitution in collaboration. This is available as a recording only. OH 424 


In its South Australian Menu Collection the State Library has a Wine Week ladies dinner : Highway Inn : 7th October 1958; menu printed on a napkin. Toasts were proposed by Mrs T. W. Hardy. Menus such as this can tell a story, and Barbara Hardy has attended many functions in her public role. But the main demands on Barbara’s time have been at meetings, which she thinks work best when people are relaxed and keep a sense of humour. She says  A little bit of Hardy’s wine and cheese and biscuits helps, and it creates a sort of fellowship, and you talk about things in a far less stressful way. I’m sure that we’re more productive somehow, and we enjoy it, so we’re happy to come along next time if you enjoy things.  From OH 250/7 page 48

Archival records