Celebrating John Phillips OAM and his immense service to KESAB.

Celebrating John Phillips OAM and his immense service to KESAB.

After 31 years, John Phillips OAM, is retiring from his role at KESAB environmental solutions.

KESAB began in 1966 and John has been guiding the organisation for more than half it’s life (he was appointed in 1988).    During this time, John has seen significant change within the organisation, South Australia and beyond.  John was instrumental in the shift from Keep South Australia Beautiful to the current KESAB environmental solutions, acknowledging the broader sustainability initiatives and opportunities for the organisation.    John has overseen key programs including the National Litter Index, KESAB Tidy Towns,  Road Watch, APY Bore to Tap,  Butt It and Bin It,  Bazza the Bunyip, Wipe Out Waste, Clean Site, Clean Marine and so many more.

In recent years, KESAB’s reach has extended globally with KESAB programs and training delivered internationally in Mongolia(image above) and Kiribati, while supporting SA home grown green industries at trade events in the Middle East. In 2015,   KESAB was awarded the Sustainability Education Award at the United Nations Association of Australia, World Environment Day Awards.

KESAB Chair, Ros DeGaris describes John’s service to KESAB as “exceptional and personal”.

“He has brought massive growth to the organisation in capacity and its value to the State and Nation across three decades of change and challenge.”

“The work ethic of John Phillips has been truly outstanding across three decades and has enabled KESAB to be flexible, proactive and creative in delivering education programs to reach a wider community here and overseas. KESAB now works and delivers education on the global stage due to John’s excellent management skills and personable natural style” Ros said.

Hon David Speirs MP, SA Minister for Environment and Water commented:

“The positive impact of KESAB as a mover and shaker in our community is in no small way due to an exceptional three decades of individual effort by its CEO John Phillips OAM, whose conspicuous efforts are worthy of special note. John has been at the helm as KESAB developed as a national and international innovator in waste reduction education and antilittering legislation, helping to put South Australia at the forefront of environmental management in Australia. I commend him and KESAB for the crucial role it continues to play in South Australia”.


The Board of KESAB environmental solutions has appointed Wendy Bevan as CEO.  Wendy comes to KESAB with an extensive professional career in senior management and government relations, having held roles at the RAA and Australian Hotels Association, as well as within SA Government.

During his time at KESAB, John has worked with many staff, volunteers and Board members, who all extend their very best wishes to him on his retirement in mid July.

Thank you John!

Catch up on the history of KESAB with the 50th year commemorative video – https://youtu.be/_s6fJmkQdKs


Posted in Business, Community, Education, International, litter, South Australia, waste management

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One comment on “Celebrating John Phillips OAM and his immense service to KESAB.
  1. Hugh Kneebone says:

    Farewell John and all the best with what lies ahead. I know that its not a laid back retirement that awaits but more time to follow your interests and passions that will probably see you as busy as ever. You are a wonderful inspiration who, I have no doubt, will continue to give your utmost to the community in many parts of SA and across the world.

    It has been a pleasure working with you over the last 12 years. I learnt a lot in that time, you have always been highly professional and ready to help or offer advice. KESAB’s best interests were always at the forefront of your work and you made every dollar granted to KESAB go well beyond what was asked or expected of it. All across SA there is evidence of KESAB’s important impact over the last 50 plus years and the environment is so much the better for it! Well done and congratulations.

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