|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
33rd World Vegetarian Congress
ROBERT AND GINA FRASER - A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Hello there! Although we now live in Perth, the state capital of Western Australia, Robert was born in Great Britain in 1948. There is a strong history of interest in animal welfare in our families, Robert’s parents having been active in the movement in pre-World War 2 Vienna. They continued this association for the 40 years following their forced migration to Britain in 1939.
Robert’s own involvement started as soon as he was old enough to carry a collecting tin for the RSPCA, he and his parents being closely involved with this society in Wales. They all served at various times on various local committees of this organisation. This led, in due course, to an increasing awareness of the cruelties inherent in the animal industry, and the decision to move towards a vegetarian diet. The Fraser family started to make this move in the mid-1970’s.
We met in 1980, in London. Australian by birth, Gina had been living temporarily in London, on what Australian commonly call a “working holiday”. She had been a vegetarian from birth, and her parents had been vegetarians for most of their adult lives. For many years, they had known no other vegetarians, as the vegetarian lifestyle was not well known in Australia, and particularly in Perth, in the early post-war years. Their vegetarianism stemmed from a lecture attended in London in the 1930’s describing “Christmas Seen through the Eyes of a Turkey”.
We married in 1982 (vegetarian catering only, of course!), and moved to Perth, Western Australia, in 1985. We soon became involved in the work of the local vegetarian society, and in 1987, rather to Robert’s surprise, he was invited to serve as President, a position he still holds. We are pleased and proud to have been instrumental in raising the public profile of the Society in our way, and increasing the membership level. During these years, Robert and I have also been involved in various projects of the Society, and in providing material for the Australia-wide publication, New Vegetarian and Natural Health Magazine.
In 1992, Robert was elected Convenor of the Vegetarian Union of Australasia, a loose grouping of vegetarian societies around the country. Both of us have also served on the committee of the Humane Society of Western Australia, an organisation which has been working for more than seventy years against animal-based experiments in Western Australia.
Some of Robert’s other interests include serving on the Board of Management of an Aged Home; working as a volunteer newsreader and program presenter for a “Print Handicapped” radio station in Perth; and listening to classical music, a pleasure we share.
After working for many years in the chemicals industry in Great Britain, and more recently in local government, Robert is presently studying Natural Therapies, which he sees as being very closely related to the vegetarian lifestyle. Gina has worked for many years as a Town Planner in local government, and has a particular interest in local heritage and in encouraging environmentally-friendly housing design. Both of these planning concepts, unfortunately, are still in the early formative stages in Perth - a modern city which enjoys a wonderfully mild “Mediterranean” climate. She looks forward to a wider acceptance of these worthy practices at home.
We have no children but two beautiful cats who we do not see as the main environmental vandals of our country!
Robert W Fraser