This series comprises administrative files including personnel data about Dr John Sinclair AO (13 July 1939 – 3 February 2019) compiled by the Board of Advanced Studies. The files and papers were created circa 1967 to 1983, and are evidence in court cases (Supreme Court, Southern District, Brisbane writ, and Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, civil appeal).
Fraser Island Defender Organization (FIDO) was formed by voluntary conservationists in January 1971. FIDO prepared the first management strategy for Fraser Island in 1975. When the Fraser Island Environment Inquiry opened in 1975, John Sinclair was subpoenaed to appear before the inquiry, allowing him to continue attending after his application for long service leave with the Adult Education Office was refused.
John Sinclair AO began work with the Department of Education with the Junior Farmers Clubs and the Rural Youth Program. In 1967 Sinclair took a job with the Adult Education office in Maryborough.
In the 1970s, John Sinclair with his solicitor Mr Stephen Comino took a legal case which went to the High Court of Australia and which overturned the decision of a Mining Warden to grant a mining lease on Fraser Island (Sinclair v Mining Warden at Maryborough (1975) 132 CLR 473). The Fraser Government’s decision to cancel export licences for mineral sands resulted in the preservation of Fraser Island in its natural state and enabled its listing as a World Heritage site. When the Fraser Island Environment Inquiry opened in 1975, John Sinclair was subpoenaed to appear before the inquiry, allowing him to continue attending after his application for long service leave with the Adult Education Office was refused.
In 1977, John Sinclair sued Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen for defamation over questioning his ability to perform his job in adult education while involved in the conservation struggle. After the writ was served in 1977, Sinclair's position as an adult education officer was abolished. After appealing to the Public Service Board, Sinclair was transferred to Ipswich College of Technical and Further Education where he was in charge of extension programs. In 1982, John Sinclair was transferred to Brisbane, where he worked as a research officer with the Curriculum Branch of the Division of TAFE until 1986. In 1986 John Sinclair resigned from the Queensland Education Department and moved to Sydney.
In 1992, despite opposition from the Queensland government, Fraser Island was added to the United Nations World Heritage List in recognition of its natural values. John Sinclair was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2014 Australia Day Honours for "distinguished service to conservation and the environment, through advocacy and leadership roles with a range of organisations, and to natural resource management and protection". He received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2017.