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In 2005, Dick Smith gave public support to the asylum seeker Peter Qasim. Qasim was released later in 2005 by the Australian Government after seven years in detention. This support included the offer to visit India seeking evidence of Qasim's claims.
Smith donated AU$60,000 in February 2007 towards the campaign to secure a fair trial for Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks who had been held in a U.S. military prison in Cuba's Guantanamo Bay for five years, saying he wanted Hicks to get "a fair trial, a fair go". Fresh charges, including attempted murder, had been filed against Hicks earlier that month. Hicks pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in March 2007 as part of a plea bargain, and was released from custody in December 2007.
He paid a large share of the ransom to free Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan and Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout who were both being held hostage in Somalia.
Smith is a founder and a patron of the Australian Skeptics. In July 1980, Smith collaborated with renowned skeptic James Randi to test water divining, offering a prize of $40,000 for a successful demonstration.
In response to a large increase in pertussis cases during a 2008/09 outbreak, Smith funded a national ad in The Australian encouraging parents to "Get The Facts" and derided the Australian Vaccination Network as an anti-vaccination organisation.
Smith came to the financial rescue of Australian Greens leader and Senator Bob Brown after he was left with a $240,000 anti-logging court bill. A failure to pay would have resulted in Brown having to declare bankruptcy, and therefore lose his seat in the Senate.
Like many Australians, Dick Smith just accepted the mantra that a Big Australia was a Good Australia. But a fateful phone call from his daughter, Jenny, changed everything.
Jenny asked why nobody was talking about population in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After all, she queried, wasn't it people who created carbon emissions? Population was the elephant in the room that no one was discussing. And it set Dick off on a journey of discovery for six months to explore how rising population was changing Australia and the world. The answers, as revealed in the film, came as a shock.