Keep Australia Beautiful turns 45

KABNA logo

Wednesday 4 December 2013
Media Comment Alice Morgan
Phone 02 8626 9396


As the year is winding down, Annual Reports published, AGMs attended, Christmas parties planned, Tidy Towns finalists to be judged, as well as the recent announcement of Australia’s most Sustainable City and Cleanest Beach for 2013 – we are celebrating 45 years as an organisation.

National Executive Officer Peter McLean said, “With the organisation having started in 1968 by Dame Phyllis Frost in Victoria, and then becoming a National organisation in 1972, we have achieved strong success in engaging communities and stakeholders to actively take pride in their local neighbourhoods and environments. This heritage is something to be very proud of.”

This year also marks the arrival of a new Chair for the National organisation, Robert Thomas. Robert replaces the long serving Don Chambers, who was the Keep Australia Beautiful National Association Chairman for over 10 years, and has retired as of November 2013.

Don has been a much appreciated and adored member of the KAB family, and will still be actively involved with the organisations activities and mission.

Robert Thomas, the new Chair said “Having spent the majority of my working life in the corporate limelight, it is time for me to give back to the community and environment what I have been privileged to learn over the past 30 years. I am a passionate believer in the environmental movement and the role it has in making the world a better place for my young family and to ensure that in the future, they too can have the opportunity to visit the unspoiled parts of Australia, and the world, that I have been privileged to see.”

Grassroots is where it all begins for Robert and he is a hands on and enthusiastic leader focused on governance, communications and financial sustainability. Through his comprehensive understanding of KABNA, he will ensure the organisation delivers on its mission of a litter free and sustainable Australia.

Robert looks forward to meeting and working with local communities, stakeholders, government and business to deliver mutual sustainable benefits.

Another milestone achieved for Keep Australia Beautiful, is National Tidy Towns judge Dick Olesinski’s 20th year in judging the national Tidy Towns program. He said, “I’ve seen Australia in all its splendour and variety. I’m constantly amazed by the commitment of people living and working in remote places to developing their communities, even after 20 years in the field.”

It goes to show why Keep Australia Beautiful is Australia’s longest running and leading environmental non-government organisation and the peak body on litter prevention.

“Over the coming years we need to focus to ensure we continue to deliver effective litter and sustainability programs to the changing needs of Australian towns, cities and coastal areas.  We aim to do this through developing stronger programs across the Keep Australia Beautiful Network, focusing on schools sustainability education, as well as to build our international collaboration with like-minded organisations around the world,” said Mr McLean.


Editors Notes

About Robert Thomas, KABNA Chairman

Robert’s career spans marketing, finance and engineering, as well as being a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has held a variety of corporate roles over 25 years including CEO, Directorship, Chairman’s and advisory roles in some of Australia’s most visible and influential organisation spanning public, NFP companies, national and international as well as community based groups. He has strong relationships with Local, State and Federal governments throughout all levels.

About Keep Australia Beautiful

Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With over four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with the organisation Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, The LITTLE Committee, National Bin Network and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.

The KAB National website is where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.

About the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards

Keep Australia Beautiful seeks to lead, challenge and inspire all Australians to strive for a sustainable and litter free environment.  It does this through research, communications programs and awards programs.

Its national awards are known as the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards which consist of the Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities, and Clean Beaches Awards.  Each awards program commences with state and territory awards and culminates in a national Grand Final event.

2013 saw The City of Marion in South Australia win the Australian Sustainable City. Currumbin on Queensland’s Gold Coast won the Australian Clean Beach. The current Tidy Town title holder is Victor Harbour, in South Australia.

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