Sector Tributes Flow Over Death of Environmental Leader
18 October 2018 at 8:48 am
The social sector is mourning the death of Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan, who has been remembered as a leader that inspired fundamental environmental change.
Clean Up Australia announced on Wednesday that Kiernan passed away at the age of 78 on 15 October, after being diagnosed with cancer in July.
The organisation paid tribute to Kiernan in a public statement, and said he always believed Clean Up belonged to the millions of volunteers who took to the streets, beaches, bushland and waterways to clean up rubbish.
“One man’s vision created Clean Up Australia, the nation’s largest community mobilisation effort which is now firmly embedded in Australian and global culture,” the statement said.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Volunteering Australia, and the Marine Conservation Foundation were among many organisations who paid tribute to Kiernan and his lasting contribution to the sector.
Today, we mourn the loss of a great Australian environmentalist, Ian Kiernan AO, who was an accomplished yachtsman and founded @Clean_Up Australia in response to the amount of rubbish he witnessed at sea. He leaves an incredible legacy & will be dearly missed.#IanKiernan pic.twitter.com/80nU0pfpYK
— Marine Conservation (@AustMarConsSoc) October 17, 2018
ACF statement on the passing of Ian Kiernan AO. https://t.co/D7Lj2m4QxK
— ACF (@AusConservation) October 16, 2018
Paul Sheridan, ACF’s director of engagement, told Pro Bono News that Kiernan’s community-based Clean Up Australia Day not only created community awareness, but exposed problems around waste management.
“It was an idea for its time that led to fundamental, and generational change,” Sheridan said.
Acting CEO of Volunteering Australia, Lavanya Kala, told Pro Bono News Kiernan’s legacy raised the profile of volunteering and encouraged volunteerism across local, national and international communities.
“He helped to promote and advance volunteering in the environmental sector and inspired citizen engagement. Ian Kiernan was a champion of the volunteering sector,” Kala said.
Sheridan said Kiernan was a pioneer in arguing for corporate social responsibility, as well as the role of the community in holding corporations and government to account.
“I think this is a foundation stone that can be built on by the sector,” he said.