Rosslyn Beeby, a former environment reporter at The Canberra Times, has died, remembered by colleague and friend Gillian Lord as "a prickly, feisty person and a fine journalist who was never afraid to speak truth to power and call things as she saw them".
Ms Beeby died suddenly at her home in Queanbeyan, it's believed some time over Easter. She was an accomplished but very private person, believed to have been 68 at the time of her death.
She worked at The Canberra Times for nine years, leaving in 2012. She had since been the Australian and New Zealand editor for global research news service, Research Professional, before leaving late last year.
Ms Beeby also wrote - "independent and muzzled" on environmental issues on her own blog The Hound.
Friend and former arts editor at The Canberra Times, Helen Musa said Beeby was a graduate of Monash University and did her masters on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe at Deakin.
During her career, she worked on the arts desk for The Age, for ABC Radio, in a Melbourne book shop, as a publicist for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and for the World Wildlife Fund. She also wrote the It's Easy Being Green handbook in 1990.
A Buddhist, she was committed to the environment and animal welfare.
She was a force of nature in the newsroom, a common sight her racing back to her desk as fast as she could - while balancing a cup of tea - ready to tackle her next story.
Ms Lord said Ms Beeby was well-respected for her environmental reporting, winning awards in Australia and abroad, including the Asia Pacific Jefferson Fellowship, for climate change research.
"Her crusading journalism resulted in some significant - and more humane - changes to wildlife management practices. She was a beautiful writer with an incisive mind and an assiduous researcher," she wrote, in a tribute.
David Lindenmayer, a research professor at the Australian National University in environmental issues including forest ecology and resource management, said he was often interviewed by Ms Beeby who took the time to understand, including going on field trips that could last for days.
"She was a fantastic journalist, a true, old-school journalist. Very ethical, very methodical, big on facts, which is how journalism should be," Professor Lindenmayer said.
"The world needs more journalists like her. It's sad to hear."
Details of Ms Beeby's funeral are to be announced.
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