Clean Up Australia

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Clean Up Australia Limited
Clean Up Australia Limited logo
Founded 8 November 1989 (1989-11-08)[nb 1][1]
Founder Ian Kiernan & Kim McKay[2]
Type environmental conservation
ABN 93 003 884 991[1]
Registration no. ACN 003 884 991[1]
Product Clean Up Australia Day
Key people
Ian Kiernan AO, chairman

Clean Up Australia Limited is a not-for-profit Australian environmental conservation organisation founded by Australian Ian Kiernan, and co-founder Kim McKay, in 1989. It works to foster relationships between the community, business and government to address the environmental issues of waste, water and climate change. Since its inception, Clean Up Australia has grown to include other projects and campaigns including Business Clean Up Day, Schools Clean Up Day, Clean Up the Alps, Clean Up the Kimberley and Clean Up the World. The organisation is behind Clean Up Australia Day, as well as other environmental projects and campaigns.[2][3]

Clean Up Australia Day is held on the first Sunday of March every year, and encourages people to clean up their local areas. Any person can register a place they plan to clean up on the Clean Up Australia website, and others can join them there. Activities on the day include removing large items such as car bodies from water ways and the collection of general waste lying around.


Clean Up Australia Day was first held in January 1990.[3] The idea was borne out of an Australian Bicentenary event, "Clean-Up Lake Macquarie" which was instigated in 1987 by Ivan Welsh as Mayor of Lake Macquarie.[4] Then followed the local "Clean Up Sydney Harbour" event in 1989 with more than 40,000 volunteers who collected some 5,000 tonnes of rubbish. The 1990 Clean Up Australia Day event was launched by the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke over the initial opposition of the then state Premier, Nick Greiner.[5] Greiner later reversed his position and offered his support for the event.[6]

"The Rubbish Report" is produced each year from data collected by surveying participants. As of 1990, 94% of rubbish was from packaging.[7] By 1993, the campaign was focusing more strongly on sorting the rubbish collected into recycleables,[8] and Kiernan was using Clean Up Australia Day to advocate for changes to legislation surrounding reduction of packaging and returning packaging to companies.[9] In 1994, over 8,000 sites were cleaned up as part of the day.[10] In 2008, Keirnan put a focus on bottled water, advocating for the expansion of container deposit refunds in Australia.[11] In 2012, sponsorship cutbacks and a drop in private donations caused the organisation to let go all of its paid staff.[12]

Clean Up the World[edit]

Clean Up the World was established in 1993 after Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay approached the United Nations Environment Programme, with an idea to take his Clean Up concept global.[13][14]

Clean Up the World is an international campaign that encourages communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment through the Clean Up the World Membership program.

A Clean Up the World weekend is held on the third weekend of September each year and, by 2007, the event attracted more than 35 million people from over 120 countries to volunteer.[14]

Other Clean Up campaigns and projects[edit]

Business Clean Up Day[edit]

Business Clean Up Day[15] provides Australian businesses with an opportunity to contribute to waste reduction and the improvement of the environment.

Businesses register their commitment to implement at least one enivironment-friendly initiative in their workplace, giving them an opportunity to work as a team and make a difference to their local environment.

Schools Clean Up Day[edit]

Schools Clean Up Day[16] is designed to allow students to participate in Clean Up Australia as part of a school activity.

Clean Up the Kimberley[edit]

Clean Up the Kimberley[17] is a series of community action-based projects focussed on the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The primary objectives of this initiative are to clean up rubbish hot spots, increase awareness of the scale and impact of rubbish in the region, change tourist and local community behaviour and improve local recycling and waste management infrastructure.

Clean Up the Alps[edit]

Clean Up the Alps[18] is a project aimed at protecting the Alpine region of Victoria. It is run in conjunction with Parks Victoria, Conservation Volunteers Australia and local communities as part of the Victorian Government’s ‘The Alps: A fresh start – a healthy future’ program. The project culminates in the Clean Up the Alps weekend, held annually in November.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Date of incorporation.


  1. ^ a b c "Extract from ASIC's database at AEST 17:02:03 on 24/02/2012 ACN 003 884 991". National Names Index, Index of corporate and business names. Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Sally Jackson, "Exploiting great deeds for the common good" (Features section), The Australian (All-round Country edition), 6 September 2010, p 29 accessed 24 February 2012 via (Document AUSTLN0020100905e696000be)
  3. ^ a b "Column 8", Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1989, p 1 accessed 24 February 2012 via (Document smhh000020011117dl9m00tte); "CLEAN Up Australia, which is organising a national clean-up day on January 21, now has 41 groups registered to take part. ..."
  4. ^ Gordon, Jason (17 March 2007). "Former mayor fighter to end". The Newcastle Herald. p. 5. In 1987 he instigated the Clean-Up Lake Macquarie campaign as an Australian Bicentenary event. After its success, Ian Kiernan arranged a series of meetings at Lake Macquarie to learn more.
    Kiernan then went on to organise the inaugural Clean-Up Sydney event, which then grew into Clean-Up Australia Day and now Clean-Up the World Day.
  5. ^ "PM Shoulders Clean-up Plan", Sydney Morning Herald, 18 September 1989, p 7 accessed 24 February 2012 via (Document smhh000020011117dl9i00rvy); "The Prime Minister launched a nation-wide foreshore clean-up program yesterday to help Sydney overcome its beach pollution problems, but the Premier, Mr Greiner, described the plan as a 'publicity campaign'. ... The Prime Minister said the community campaign to clean up the nation's 37,000 kilometres of coastline was a follow-on from last January's Sydney Harbour clean- up, during which 40,000 people collected 5,000 tonnes of rubbish - 4,900 tonnes more than expected."
  6. ^ Darren Horrigan, "Even bigger Sydney area clean-Up plan", Sydney Morning Herald, 7 December 1989, p 2 accessed 24 February 2012 via (Document smhh000020011117dlc700zgi)
  7. ^ "Packaging 'the rubbish culprit'.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 4 December 1991. p. 7. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Increase in recyclables.". Times (Victor Harbor, SA : 1987 - 1999) (Victor Harbor, SA: National Library of Australia). 5 March 1993. p. 9. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "Call for more incentives to recycle.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 6 December 1993. p. 4. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Put Down the Bottle". Government News, Vol. 28, No. 1, Feb 2008: 18. ISSN: 1447-0500.
  12. ^ Miriam, Steffens. "Clean Up Australia's money troubles are just a bump in the road, says Kiernan." Sydney Morning Herald, The 12 July 2012: 6. Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.
  13. ^ "Solo anti-rubbish campaign sparks global clean-up.", Reuters News, 2 September 1993 accessed 24 February 2012 via (Document lba0000020011121dp9202qa4); "A round-the-world yachtsman's campaign against ever-growing mounds of garbage has prompted 600 communities to take part in a global clean-up, an Australian environmental organisation said on Thursday. ... Ian Kiernan, the yachtsman who launched the project after sailing round the world alerted him to widespread sea pollution, said 600 communities in 17 countries will clean streets, waterways and beaches from September 17 to 19. ... Countries involved in the worldwide event, coordinated by Clean up Australia in conjunction with the U.N. Environment Programme, include India, Zimbabwe and Mexico."
  14. ^ a b Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin, "Acting locally", Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), 16 September 2007, p 8 accessed 24 February 2012 via (Document SUNTEL0020070915e39g0007a); "An estimated 35 million people from around 120 countries will participate this weekend in the 15th Clean Up the World campaign, a great Australian export. Established in 1993 by the Clean Up Australia team, the campaign partners Clean Up the World with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to encourage communities around the globe to take action, improving their environment and limiting the impacts of climate change."
  15. ^ Business Clean Up Day
  16. ^ Schools Clean Up Day
  17. ^ Clean Up the Kimberly
  18. ^ Clean Up the Alps

External links[edit]