The driving force of Don Chambers

Don Chambers ATT 2013

Don Chambers sadly passed away on 11 October 2015 while holidaying in Rome. He was the Chair of Keep Australia Beautiful from July 2003 until November 2013 when he brought his passion and energy to those he worked with.

The below anecdote was submitted by one of Don’s sons, Simon Chambers. Simon feels it was a driving force, motivation and inspiration for Don.





When my Dad was 5 the same age as my beautiful daughter Lucy, Lake Moodemere was still a mission site for the First Australians. As a 5-year-old with no fear, Don made his way down to the Lake as he saw a fire crackling away.

Upon arrival, he was struck by the awe-inspiring sight of a small tribe of Indigenous men sitting around the campfire in silence.

As 5-year-olds do, Don said, “who are you?”

The person who must have been the elder of the group said in a commanding deep voice:

“I am Pangerang.”

Don was amazed and transfixed by these men who were dressed in their traditional clothing.

The next morning Don went to the same site to try out his new tomahawk. He was just about to cut a sapling off a tree when the same man Pangerang said:

“Don’t cut the sapling, try your tomahawk on that dead tree nearby. The sapling is living and if you cut the sapling you take away some of the living part of us.”

I am not sure how, but Don understood the universal nature of this,  and is one of the major reasons he did what he did for the environment with his work for Keep Australia Beautiful, Sustainablity Victoria, and the wide range of agencies he worked with.

Read more about Don’s life and enormous contribution to Australia here.

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