Robert Reed was born in The Junction, Newcastle, N.S.W. in 1941. The economic circumstances of the Reed household meant that there was very little money for required clothing like school uniforms, shoes, etc.. Let alone luxuries like bathing costumes. Living so close to the ocean, Bob, at the age of fourteen was pleased to find Mooney Mooney Beach, which, being deserted, allowed him to enjoy the surf nude. He enjoyed this first experience of naturism.
After a childhood, disadvantaged in a number of ways, attending schools in Newcastle (Lack of resources, e.g., school uniforms, etc., were a factor) , Bob was pleased to find employment with a firm, called Beard Watson, in Sydney, in 1960. His next, and last job, for the rest of his working life was with an import company, as commercial traveller dealing in (ironically) textiles, all along the East Coast of Australia, getting to know people and places, there, very well, during twenty-three years.
After settling down, in Sydney, Bob looked for the beaches where nude bathing was an accepted practice and Reef Beach became his favourite beach, where his people-skills soon established him as a 'personality', facilitating social interaction and best use of this small beach.
This was recognised by the authorities, establishing his role as honorary beach inspector, on Reef Beach.
Objections were raised, by near-by residents, to nude bathing. In spite of success, in the local court, confirming the right of visitors to this beach to bathe nude, Bob was founder of a ''committee for continued nude bathing, on Reef beach'', when, via an Act of NSW State Parliament, three other Sydney beaches ( Lady Bay, Obelisk and Cobblers ) were given legal status but that was not given to Reef Beach, now, a usually very quiet or deserted beach.
The ''committee for continued nude bathing on Reef Beach'', then 'morphed' into the Free Beach Association of NSW, when this was suggested by the then editor of the naturist magazine, Sun & Health, who had been involved in starting up such an association in Queensland, in order to be affiliated with the Australian Nudist Federation (A.N.F.) which was considered to have been concentrating on promoting and supporting naturism, within clubs,in favour of nude bathing at beaches and other venues.
In December 2005, when Bob did not stand for re-election, the FBA of NSW was legally dissolved and Mr Reed could relax, knowing that the telephone would no longer ring regularly, any time, night or day, with callers making enquiries about nude bathing or media representatives needing an official statement on events associated with nude bathing.
When students from the Australian Film Television and Radio School, needed people, prepared to be filmed nude, for a film which was entitled: ''The Bottom Line'', Bob Reed found them the extras.
When an advertising agency needed extra people, prepared to be photographed in an advertisement for a very well-known German people's car, Bob Reed found the extra people. The advertisement being published, full page, in the Sun Herald in NSW, and The Age, in Victoria, as well as in Men's Health magazine and the magazine, published by Qantas.
It had been Bob Reed who co-ordinated, for a number of years, the annual Samurai Nude Beach carnivals, which brought naturists from all over Australia and New Zealand to the Anna Bay / Nelson Bay area.
In Journal of Australian Studies, Douglas Booth summarised the events very effectively. Not surprisingly, New Zealand academic, Professor Douglas Booth, author of Australian Beach Cultures: The History of Sun, Sand and Surf consulted Bob Reed extensively, on the naturist aspects of Australian beach culture.
He now holds a vast collection of memorabilia associated with all those years of lobbying on behalf of naturists, reflecting on the stressful times, such as leading a group of naturists, all being summonsed, in the spotlight of the media, on Reef Beach; the subsequent local court case; his address to the members, in NSW State Parliament, explaining the situation regarding legal nude bathing and also the good times and the good relations built up with a number of politicians, at local and state level.
Confident in relating to people and not shy in public, Bob Reed has spoken out, via various media and in private with stakeholders on various levels, for the 'cause' that he believes in. Agreeing with him or not, there is no doubt that politicians like, the Honorable Ms Pam Allen, then Minister for the Environment, N.S.W., and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Jones,_MLA Mr Richard Jones], as well as former mayor of Manly, Mrs Jean Hay and more lately, Denise Wilton in her previous role, as Mosman City Councillor, (now mayor) were happy to speak with Bob on various issues, including, nude bathing.
While no longer promoting naturism, as FBA of NSW president, Bob Reed, very actively supports the distribution of both Australian naturist magazines. He frequently contributes to both The Australian Naturist, TAN and Sun and Health magazines, as he did for the former publication, having written a number of articles, on his many visits to Cap d'Agde.