JON DEE’S MAIN BIOGRAPHY

Jon Dee was the 2010 NSW ‘Australian of the Year’. He is the Founder and Managing Director of the Australian advocacy organisation ‘Do Something!’ and was the author of the highly successful business book ‘Sustainable Growth’. In June 1991, he founded Planet Ark in partnership with his close friend Pat Cash. In 1989 he also founded Rock Aid Armenia. In addition to being a social entrepreneur, Jon is an accomplished keynote speaker who has given hundreds of speeches in Australia and overseas.

As one of Australia’s most influential environmentalists, Jon has taught millions of Australians that they have the ability to effect real and positive change in their daily lives. Indeed, every time you turn on a light or do your laundry, you’ll be touched by the results of one of his campaigns.

Jon initiated the lobbying campaign that led to Australia’s 3 year phase out of incandescent light globes – a move that is saving Australians hundreds of millions of dollars. Jon’s role in the phase-out was acknowledged by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a speech on January 24, 2010. Australia’s globe phase-out ban has become an international role model that is now being copied by other countries.

In 2010-11 he initiated and ran the successful campaign to bring about an industry-wide voluntary ban on phosphates in laundry detergents. This will significantly reduce the environmental impact of the 1.9 billion laundry washes that Australian households carry out every year. In 2012, OMO are putting Jon’s tips on reducing the environmental impact of household laundry into half a million brand new washing machines. That’s all the new washing machines sold in Australia.

Before
 leaving Planet Ark to start Do Something!, Jon headed up the organisation for 15 years, turning the organisation into 
an Australian household name as well as a force for positive change. Together with Olivia Newton-John he also founded ‘National Tree Day’. During his time overseeing the event, 10 million native trees and shrubs were planted all around Australia, improving the environment and creating habitat for native wildlife.

Here and overseas, Jon is in high demand as a corporate speaker. His recent ‘Sustainable Growth’ book has become the definitive sustainability and efficiency guidebook for Australian business. In only 2 years, over 80,000 copies of the book have been distributed and the book is being used by thousands of organisations.

Internationally, Jon also started ‘World Environment News’ and Rock Aid Armenia - a music fundraiser for which he recruited the help of Pink Floyd, Queen, Deep Purple, Bon Jovi and other rock bands. In 1989, Jon’s all-star version of ‘Smoke on the Water’ was a top 40 UK hit and featured many of the world’s top rock stars.

In 2009 the President of Armenia awarded Jon ‘The Order of Honor’, in recognition of Jon’s work helping disadvantaged people in the Armenian earthquake zone. This is the highest honor that Armenia can bestow on a foreign citizen.

His current project in Armenia is driven by Jon’s belief that education can truly change children’s lives. Jon and his close Armenian friend Ara Tadevosyan have pulled together a team to raise the funds to rebuild a brand new music school from scratch. Building has already commenced and the school will be teaching 250 students when opens in July 2012.

Jon has been the main driving force behind the highly successful Ban The Bag media campaign to phase-out Australia’s usage of plastic bags – a national initiative that Jon started in 2002 with former Olympian Ron Clarke. In 2003, together with fellow Do Something! board director Ben Kearney, Jon organised the ban on plastic bags in the Tasmanian town of Coles Bay. Over time, the campaign led to the South Australian Government ban on plastic bags for which Jon was the main spokesperson on the day of the ban’s implementation. To date, 4 states and territories in Australia have now announced plastic bag bans, with the most recent being the ban announcement in Tasmania.

He successfully campaigned for the introduction of natural gas buses and was the media spokesperson for the Australian release of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ DVD. In addition to being quoted on the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ DVD sleeve, Jon organised the sponsorship and distribution of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ energy saving leaflet to 5 million homes Australia-wide. He also organised to put a free DVD of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ into thousands of Australian secondary schools.

Jon Dee and Pat Cash are close friends and have a longstanding mutual interest in social issues. They first met when Pat and John McEnroe got involved with Jon’s ‘Rock Aid Armenia’ earthquake appeal in 1990. Their desire to do more in the social issues area led to them leaving Planet Ark to start ‘Do Something!’. Started in partnership with Tina Jackson in late 2008, Do Something! has been rolling out a series of campaigns that are bringing about positive social and environmental change.

Jon initiated the organisation’s flagship initiative called ‘DoSomethingNearYou’. Hosted at DoSomethingNearYou.com.au, by typing in their postcode, people can find community groups and events that need help in all 564 local government areas around Australia. Jon also initiated Do Something’s National Calendar web site which lists over 300 state and national community events.

Jon also initiated and manages Do Something’s 10 Per Cent Challenge. Backed by News Ltd, Unilever, Bunnings, ASIC, Visy, Toyota, Bayer and other organisations, this campaign is teaching households and businesses to save money by cutting their fuel and electricity use by 10%.

In 2011, the House of Representatives and the Senate voted for the Australian Federal Parliament to take The 10% Challenge. Not a single MP or Senator voted against The 10% Challenge motion to reduce Parliament’s energy use by 10%. It has already reduced Parliament’s energy use.

Other Do Something! campaigns initiated by Jon include the FoodWise.com.au sustainable food campaign and the GoTap.com.au water bubbler push. Jon co-organised the world’s first bottled water ban in the NSW town of Bundanoon. He also organised the initiative’s PR campaign which created headlines and coverage all around the world. Together with Beth Mitchell, Jon also helped to organise the University of Canberra ban on bottled water – the biggest in the world to date.

In 2010, Jon co-organised the campaign to stop the NSW Government cutting the solar power tariff by a third. This successful campaign saved $470 million for the Australians who’d gone out and installed solar panels on their rooftops.

In 2012, the Federal Government awarded Jon’s Do Something! team an $871,000 grant to promote energy efficiency to SMEs. In 2013, this campaign will be publicly headed up by Jon and will involve him presenting videos and writing eBooks that show SMEs how to save energy.

Internationally, Jon also started ‘World Environment News’ and Rock Aid Armenia – a music fundraiser for which he recruited the help of Pink Floyd, Queen, Deep Purple, Bon Jovi and other rock bands. In 1989, Jon’s all-star version of ‘Smoke on the Water’ was a top 40 UK hit and featured many of the world’s top rock stars.

In 2009 the President of Armenia awarded Jon ‘The Order of Honor’, in recognition of Jon’s work helping disadvantaged people in the Armenian earthquake zone. This is the highest honor that Armenia can bestow on a foreign citizen.

His current project in Armenia is driven by Jon’s belief that education can truly change children’s lives. He is currently fundraising to build a new music school in the earthquake town of Gyumri. Although the earthquake happened 23 years ago, this school has still not been properly rebuilt. To that end, Jon and his close Armenian friend Ara Tadevosyan have pulled together a team to raise the funds to rebuild a brand new music school from scratch. Building has already commenced and the school will be teaching 250 students when opens in July 2012.

In June 2007, Jon made a speech at the House of Lords to launch his 14 country ‘World Environment Review’ poll. Jon’s interviews for this initiative achieved significant media coverage in Australia and overseas. Over the last two years, Jon has undertaken nearly 200 speeches in schools, communities and boardrooms all over Australia. His audiences are wide ranging, varying from 4-18 year olds right through to leading CEO’s, community groups and farmers out in the bush.

In 2008, Jon presented the ‘Tipping Point’ TV series on The Weather Channel. Broadcast on the hour, 24 hours a day for a whole year, Jon’s 3 minute segments showed people what they could do to combat climate change. He also instigated National Recycling Week and RecyclingNearYou.com.au which is used by over a million Australians a year. In 2009, he co-organised the world’s first bottled water ban in the town of Bundanoon and co-fronted and organised the project’s highly successful global media coverage. He also co-organised the ban on bottled water at the University of Canberra, the largest bottled water ban in the world to date.

Jon has directed and produced over 350 TV and radio ‘environmental education adverts’ which have featured people such as Sir Richard Branson, Kylie Minogue, Pierce Brosnan, Nicole Kidman, Dustin Hoffman, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Cruise, Steve Irwin, Olivia Newton-John and Rolf Harris to name but a few.

In 2011 the Federal Government appointed Jon as the environmental champion for the National Broadband Network.

Jon is married with two children and lives in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

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