Passionate environmental champion and lobbyist, Jon Dee, founded Planet Ark in 1991 with former tennis great and friend, Pat Cash. Planet Ark’s meteoric rise enjoys support from celebrities the world over including Richard Branson, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Newton-John, among many others. His initiative and innate drive directs a flood of media promotion and business ventures all focussed on improving the condition of our planet, and our lives.
Jon Dee is the Founder and Managing Director of the Australian advocacy organisation ‘Do Something!’. Jon is also the author of 'Sustainable Growth' - a book with a 90,000 copy print run that's been published by Sensis.
In addition to being the NSW Australian of the Year for 2010, the President of Armenia awarded Jon 'The Order of Honor' in October 2009 for his work in the Armenian earthquake zone. This is the highest honor that Armenia can bestow on a foreign citizen.
Internationally, Jon is best known as the founder of Planet Ark, Rock Aid Armenia, 'World Environment News', and his 2007 'World Environment Review'. He also organised the international media rollout for the 2009 ban on bottled water in the NSW town of Bundanoon. The world first initiative created a firestorm of publicity around the world.
Together with Olivia Newton-John, Jon founded Australia's 'National Tree Day', an event for which 2 million volunteers have planted 15 million native trees and shrubs. This initiative has achieved significant environmental results – it has also provided significant amounts of food and shelter for Australia’s native wildlife.
Some of Jon's initiatives have become role models for international change. He initiated the successful lobbying campaign for Australia's 3 year phase-out of incandescent light globes - a move that has since been copied by other countries. Jon's initiatives and his role in the phase-out were acknowledged by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a speech on January 24, 2010.
Jon has also spearheaded the highly successful media campaign to phase-out Australia's usage of plastic bags - a national initiative that Jon started in 2002 with former Olympian Ron Clarke. This campaign led to the South Australian Government ban on plastic bags. To date, 4 states and territories in Australia have now announced plastic bag bans, with the most recent being the ban announcement in Tasmania. As part of this campaign, Jon and his fellow Do Something! board member Ben Kearney got the Tasmanian town of Coles Bay to become Australia's first plastic bag free town. Since then, many communities around the world have copied this role model. Indeed, Jon was Rebecca Hosking's key advisor in turning Modbury into Britain's first plastic bag free town.
In 2007, Jon was the media spokesperson for the Australian release of Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' DVD. In addition to being quoted on the DVD's sleeve, Jon organised the sponsorship and sending out of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ leaflet to 5 million homes Australia-wide. Jon also organised to put a free DVD of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ into Australia’s secondary schools.
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.
Jon founded Planet Ark back in 1991 in partnership with his close friend Pat Cash. â¨Jon was also the founder of 'World Environment News' (the world’s leading environmental news service which is used by 8 million people a year), ‘Cards 4 Planet Ark’ (over half a billion greeting cards recycled),RecyclingNearYou.com.au (used by one million people a year), Australia's 'National Recycling Week' and 'The National Recycling Hotline', to name but a few.
Jon and Pat Cash are close friends and have a longstanding mutual interest in social issues. They first met when Pat got involved with Jon’s ‘Rock Aid Armenia’ earthquake appeal in 1990. Their desire to do more in this area led to them leaving Planet Ark to start a new social and environmental organisation called ‘Do Something!’.
Started in partnership with Tina Jackson in late 2008, this advocacy organisation has been rolling out a series of campaigns that are bringing about positive social and environmental change. â¨â¨These include a number of high profile campaigns and web sites such as FoodWise.com.au, SavePaper.com.au, EastTimorNow.com, GoTap.com.au, BanTheBag.com.au and RockAidArmenia.com.
Jon launched Do Something's National Leftovers Day and was the co-Founder of Feed Melbourne (which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for food charities in Melbourne). In partnership with Australian of the Year 2010 Local Hero Ronni Kahn, Jon was also the co-Founder of Feed Sydney which was held in June 2010.
Jon has directed and produced over 350 environmentally-focussed TV and radio adverts. These have featured people such as Tom Cruise, Kylie Minogue, Sir Richard Branson, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Irwin, Olivia Newton-John, Rolf Harris and others. In 2009 he wrote, directed and co-presented a series of 52 ‘Easy Being Green’ TV announcements that show people how to save money and the environment. One spot aired every week on Channel Nine’s ‘TODAY on Sunday’.
In the media, Jon's articles have had millions of readers. In addition to his regular column in 'G' magazine, he writes extensively for magazines and newspapers. â¨â¨In 2008, Jon presented the environment TV series ‘Tipping Point’, which aired 24/7, on the hour every hour on 'The Weather Channel' on Foxtel and Austar. During 2009-10, he was also the Environment Editor for Channel Nine’s ‘TODAY’ show.
In his role as an environmental commentator, Jon undertakes hundreds of interviews every year across all media. He is Neil Mitchell’s on-air environmental advisor on Radio 3AW andrecently appeared on ’60 Minutes’ to promote Do Something's bottled water campaign.
Prior to setting up ‘Do Something!’, Jon was Planet Ark’s Managing Director - a role he held for 15 years after he started the organisation back in June 1991. Outside of his role as Managing Director of Do Something!, his JonDee.com business also advises organisations about the environment and corporate social responsibility.
Jon’s first full time environmental job was at Earthlife UK in 1985. As part of his community work outside of the environment, Jon co-produced ‘The World Against AIDS’ 55 country global broadcast which launched ‘World AIDS Day’back in 1988.
In 1989, Jon initiated and ran ‘Rock Aid Armenia’ where he organised ‘The Earthquake Album’ – the UK’s first gold selling charity album. This album and video were supported by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Deep Purple and Bon Jovi. Jon also had a top 40 UK hit with his all-star remake of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’. â¨â¨In 2010 Jon released his 21st anniversary remix of ‘Smoke on the Water’. Released under the auspices of Do Something, this remix along with a documentary of the recordings is currently being sold worldwide via iTunes.
Also underway are a number of new Rock Aid Armenia fundraising initiatives that Jon is currently rolling out. The funds raised by these new Rock Aid initiatives will go towards building a new music school in the Gyumri earthquake zone. A live concert by Ian Gillan in Armenia, that was organised with MediaMax in March 2010, has already raised $50,000 towards this.
* Planet Ark
* The Environment
"The presentation you provided was not only inspirational with a wealth of practical resources it was also exceptionally well presented. It is a rare occurrence for me to be so moved to take to the stage and make such an impromptu congratulatory address. Your presentation, however had that effect on me...Thank you John for your commitment to advancing social policy in Australia and promoting resilient communities."
General Peter Cosgrove
"From the feedback from the participants at conference, they rated his presentation as excellent and informative. I would also like to comment that Jon remained for lunch and spoke to many participants; this was appreciated by all who had the opportunity to speak with him. In respect of his presentation, Jon had obviously done his “homework” on Rotary which was evident in his address."
Rotary International District 9750