The Australian Conservation Foundation has expressed its sadness at the passing of former ACF Director Phillip Toyne.

Phillip Toyne was ACF’s Executive Director from 1986 to 1992.

“With Phillip Toyne’s passing Australia has lost a man who contributed hugely to conservation and Indigenous rights,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“Phillip Toyne played a key role in having the Daintree Rainforest included on the World Heritage list and in securing improved protection for Kakadu and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Areas.”

Before coming to ACF Phillip Toyne had worked for 14 years as a lawyer on Aboriginal issues. He was instrumental in the handover of Uluru to its Traditional Owners in 1985.

“During his time as Director he made sure all ACF’s conservation work in northern Australia was done in collaboration with Indigenous groups,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“This principle remains absolutely central to ACF’s work.

“His co-founding of Landcare may be his largest legacy.

“With his counterpart at the National Farmers Federation, Rick Farley, Phillip Toyne developed the Landcare model and together they convinced the Hawke Government to support it.

“It started a movement that has engaged communities across Australia in the job of reversing damage to farmland, public land and waterways.

“There are now more than 6000 Landcare and Coastcare groups around the country, working to improve public and private land, rivers, creeks and beaches.

“This is a living testament to Phillip’s vision and efforts.

“ACF expresses its deep condolences to Mr Toyne’s family and friends.”

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