Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan dies aged 78

Ian Kiernan, the Clean Up Australia founder and round the world sailsman, has died aged 78.

The passionate environmentalist was diagnosed with cancer in late July

Clean Up Australia announced his death in a statement on its website on Wednesday.


“While we will deeply miss Ian’s guidance and humour, it was his greatest wish that the work he inspired continues,” the statement said.

“Ian Kiernan’s greatest legacy is the creation of an informed, concerned, committed and involved community – sharing his passion for the safeguarding of our most precious asset, our environment.”

Kiernan founded Clean Up Australia 30 years ago as Clean Up Sydney Harbour. The event was so popular that he took it nationally the following year, in 1990, and internationally in 1993.

He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1991, named Australian of the year in 1994, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1995.