Australia – indeed the world – lost a champion of champions this week with the death of Ian Kiernan, AO.

In a previous life, I was heavily involved with the development of the not-for-profit Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre in Eden. It was (is) a BIG idea in a very small community so we knew from the outset that for the Centre to build a larger profile and ‘buy in’ from the wider community, we needed a BIG name behind it. We needed someone who was:

  • apolitical
  • likeable
  • well-known
  • passionate about the environment

So we wrote to Ian and asked him to be our Patron. Within a week, he called and casually said:

“Hi, this is Ian Kiernan here and yes, I’d be honoured to be the Patron of the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre. What do you need me to do?”

Wow wow wow! To describe our reaction as ‘excited’ would be a massive understatement. Our small group of volunteers reacted like we’d won the lottery. And in terms of what we were trying to achieve, we had.

As most of Australia knows, Ian was the mastermind of the massive movement called Clean Up. Initially it was ‘Clean Up Sydney Harbour’, then it was ‘Clean Up Australia’, but Ian refused to stop there and soon developed ‘Clean Up the World’. We are big on meeting the challenge of plastic pollution – but we will intensify our efforts now in memory of this great man.

Thank you Ian. From us, from Eden, from Australia, from the World.

We take great pride in the pristine condition of our river and very rarely have to pick up rubbish – but we won’t rest on our laurels. We feel we owe it to his legacy.

Join us for a tour in this beautiful place. Bookings over Christmas holidays are already filling so get in quick and book now!