Ian Kiernan was a great friend to many in Lake Macquarie
17th October 2018
Ian Kiernan and I check out the lake water quality in 2008. Picture by Stefan Moore, published courtesy of the Newcastle Herald.
I was saddened to hear this morning of the death of environmental champion and former Australian of the Year Ian Kiernan OAM. He was a great friend of many in Lake Macquarie.
I had the good fortune of knowing Ian through Clean Up Australia Day where he maintained a strong link to Lake Macquarie, regularly visiting to support council with promoting the event. I also worked with Ian when he was appointed by then Premier Bob Carr to chair a committee reviewing remediation plans ...for the lake.
Most people wouldn’t know that not only did Ian have this link to our area but so did Clean Up Australia Day. The story is that Ian, while sailing in an around-the-world race event, was shocked and appalled at the amount of plastic debris he saw floating on the oceans. He had been thinking of ways to address the problem when a visit to Lake Macquarie coincided with a council-sponsored program, Clean Up Lake Macquarie.
Ian thought that something like this could be used on Sydney Harbour and set in train the first Clean Up Sydney Harbour in 1989. This of course went on to become Clean Up Australia and indeed, Clean Up The World!
Ian was one man and as such could only do so much by himself. His talent and gift to his community was to inspire and mobilise others and to bring together an army of concerned citizens to tackle the rubbish choking our bushland, waterways and oceans.
He was one man, but one amazing champion for the environment and he will be greatly missed.