In 1989 an ‘average Australian bloke’ had a simple idea to make a difference in his own backyard – Sydney Harbour. The event received an enormous public response with more than 40,000 Sydneysiders donating their time and energy to clean up the harbour.
The next year Clean Up Australia Day was born. Ian and his committee believed that if a capital city could be mobilised into action, then so could the whole nation.
Almost 300,000 volunteers turned out on the first Clean Up Australia Day in 1990 and that involvement has steadily increased ever since.
In the past 20 years, Australians have devoted more than eight million hours towards the environment through Clean Up Australia Day and collected over 200,000 tonnes of rubbish. This simple idea has now become the nation’s largest community-based environmental event.