How many people can say they won the Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year Award and were a CLEO’s Bachelor of the Year Finalist? Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Arron Wood - Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne and our MC for The S Event Upcycled!
Arron is an expert on sustainability, and he has so many achievements under his belt we could be here for hours telling you about them. It all started when Arron was a youngster running wild on the River Murray, “I grew up on a billabong, so I was immersed in the environment from an early age. One year the billabong filled up with a blue-green algae bloom, and I found out it was from the salinity and run-off from our farm. So, from a young age I was seeing first-hand the impact we can have on the environment.” These events sparked up a lifelong passion to protect the environment and support sustainability.
Arron first started his environmental work in 1998, campaigning to save the River Murray and his billabong. He founded the award-winning program Kids Teaching Kids in 1999, and in 2001 he received the Young Australian of the Year Award (National Environment winner). He has also won the United Nations Individual Award for Outstanding Service to the Environment, was selected to complete Al Gore’s Climate Change Leadership Program, made regular appearances on radio and TV to talk about sustainability, travelled to New York and Geneva to work with the United Nations on environmental research…look, we weren’t kidding when we said we could be here for hours talking about Arron’s achievements. Check out his timeline below to see (most of) what he’s done!
Today, he continues to be recognised for his work - and doesn’t have any plans to stop doing what he loves. So, what motivates someone to a lifetime dedicated to one goal? Arron isn’t afraid to be open about his reasoning, “I can break this off into two parts, one is fear and the other is hope. I truly understand the impact that climate change, species loss and biodiversity loss is having on the environment, and I also understand how this will affect our health and lives.” But on the flip side, he wants people to know that the move towards sustainability is beautiful and full of opportunity.
“I want to instil in people a belief in a sustainable future, that it’s something amazing that we gain from instead of something we have to give things up for. Seeing innovations in areas like electric vehicles, the creation of beautiful walkable cities with green spaces, innovations in renewable energy – they give me hope for the future.”
Arron has been spreading the belief in a sustainable future with his Kids Teaching Kids program (which turns 20 this year!), a program that has seen over 135 000 kids teach each other about local environment and sustainability problems and solutions. It is an amazing achievement that stands out even on his stellar profile, but ask him what his proudest moments are and you’ll find his answer is a bit closer to home, “This might be a bit corny”, he laughs, then says honestly, “what I’m proudest of is marrying my amazing wife Stephanie and watching my beautiful kids, Addison and Sam, grow up.”
Looking towards the future, Arron wants to continue his work to create a world where people have embraced sustainability and all of its opportunities, “I want to see a big acceleration in people taking up sustainable solutions, taking action against climate change, and I want to see more and more cities being built to be green. I’m working towards a world where my kids Sam and Addison don’t have to fear the future, they can just live a life full of hope.” The future looks bright with leaders like Arron, and we’re honoured to have Arron as our MC for The S Event Upcycled on the 27 May 2019!
Get your tickets to The S Event where sustainability is hitting the stage in a colourful, energetic, one-night only event! You’ll have the chance to meet Arron and enjoy a fabulous night of sustainable entertainment, networking, drinks and canapes PLUS an After Party.