KESAB Board and Staff are saddened by the passing of Ross Swayne OAM.
Ross was the South Australian legend pioneering the KESAB Tidy Towns Awards, engaging rural and regional communities he loved so much for over 30 years.
Ross inaugurated the Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Tidy Towns Program, guiding all participating State and Territory communities to improve the built and natural environment.
Towns, councils, community groups and schools will remember Ross’s contribution as an articulate Tidy Towns Judge, for his never ending hours behind the wheel travelling thousands of kilometres visiting every entrant and for making many lifelong friends through the journey.
It is quite possible that no one knew regional and rural SA better than Ross as he watched and recorded significant change during the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and the start of the new millennium. In fact it is likely he visited every single community in SA over his 3 decades with the Tidy Towns program.
Each year Ross would visit hundreds of regional communities across the state, spending time with locals hearing about new projects in town, inspecting parks and gardens, learning from enthusiastic students and casting his judges eye over every aspect of towns.
Ross’s judging reports were legendary, with no detail left out, and more often than not they were published word for word in the local newspapers.
Ross ensured that along with his reports came constructive suggestions and even future opportunities for towns to investigate.
So many stories and part of South Australia’s legacy are lost with the passing of Ross. He will always be remembered fondly by the KESAB staff and Board, as well as many other South Australians.