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Clean Up Australia founder Ian Keirnan dies, aged 78

Macquarie National News

Clean Up Australia founder and chairman Ian Kiernan has died, aged 78.

The environmentalist and round the world sailor was diagnosed with cancer in July.

In 1989, Mr Kiernan organised a group of people to help collect rubbish from Sydney Harbour.

The next year, the very first Clean Up Australia was born, with almost 300,000 volunteers getting involved.

Since then Australians have devoted more than 33 million hours towards the environment through Clean Up Australia Day, removing the equivalent of more than 350,000 ute-loads of rubbish.

In 1993, Mr Kiernan launched Clean Up the World with approximately 30 million people in 80 countries taking part in its inaugural year.

A yachtsman, Mr Kiernan bought a yacht called Maris from Jack Earl, the founder of the Syndey to Hobart yacht race.

Jack’s family eventually came to buy back the yacht, and his grandson Ben Hawke tells Ross Greenwood “we all feel a bit sad today”.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Full statement from Clean Up Australia Day:

“It is with deep sadness that we pay tribute to our beloved founder and Chairman Ian Kiernan AO, who passed away in October 2018.

Ian believed that Clean Up belongs to the millions of volunteers who have taken to their streets, beaches, parks, bushland and waterways to remove the rubbish that is bothering them.

More recently this has extended to the thousands who take actions such as saying NO to a plastic bag at the checkout, refusing a single use item, or who join us via our social media campaigns.

One man’s vision created Clean Up Australia, the nations largest community mobilisation effort which is now firmly embedded in Australian and global culture.

One of Ian’s requests was that, rather then sending flowers, people support his passion and commitment by making a donation to Clean Up Australia.

A donation in his name will assist us to continue and expand his work to preserve and protect our precious environment.”

Macquarie National News