Jon Dee

Jon Dee, Planet Ark Co-Founder and Chairman

Jon Dee has spent over twenty years working on cause-related projects.

During this time, he set up and ran Rock Aid Armenia, getting the support of bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen and others to raise funds for Armenian Earthquake Relief in 33 countries.

In 1988, Jon co-produced the 55-nation global broadcast 'World Against AIDS' that launched World AIDS Day. In 1990, he was also the initiator and publisher of Britain's first multi-lingual pan-European magazine - the 8 language edition 'Rock Power' magazine.

Jon Dee founded the Planet Ark organisation in association with friend and tennis player Pat Cash back in June 1991.

He set up Planet Ark as a pro-business organisation, as he believes that only business has enough power to save the planet's ability to look after our future generations.

Since its inception, Planet Ark has become a major force for social and environmental change in Australia. Internationally, Jon launched the Planet Ark Internet site back in 1994. With over 20,000 pages of news, it is the largest online environmental news service in the world.

Jon won community service awards in his youth from Lions clubs. For his earthquake relief work, he was awarded the President's Medal by the President of Armenia in a ceremony in Yerevan in 1991. In 1994, Jon also won the national 'Banksia Environmental Award' for his production of Channel 7 and Planet Ark's 'Save the Planet' education commercials.

Jon is a regular commentator on radio and TV. Since 1992, he has produced and directed over 300 TV and radio adverts for Planet Ark, recruiting people like Sir Richard Branson, Kylie Minogue, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Newton-John, Steve Irwin, Dustin Hoffman, Jamie Durie and others to present the ads.

Jon lives in the Blue Mountains where he is married to Leanne, his partner of 16 years. Leanne and Jon have a daughter called Estelle – a wonderful 3 year old child whose birth was the happiest moment of his life.

Jon is an inspiring and entertaining speaker, who has delivered speeches at launches, conferences and corporate workshops both here in Australia and overseas.


Planet Ark

Jon Dee official website


Watching the weather, by Larry Schwartz - 13th December 2007
(Credit: The Age)

Larry Schwartz meets a campaigner showing viewers how to clean up their act.

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Jon Dee is so upbeat it takes you aback to see the tears in his eyes. "I'm starting to get emotional," he says.

The Planet Ark founder's voice falters as he considers a question about his father.

"He's proud of me and that means a lot because my dad's a very principled man," says Dee discussing a new 16-part series he is presenting on The Weather Channel called Tipping Point in which he shows how to create an environmentally sustainable future.

He attributes his activism largely to the family ethos. "My father was a firefighter and we had very little money," he says.

"But we were very community-minded. We were brought up to go and fundraise and doorknock for people less fortunate."

His father was once the only officer in Shropshire county, western central England, to go on strike for seven weeks in solidarity with fire brigade workers.

"It killed his career," Dee says. "He never got promoted again. We did it really tough. We were reliant on people bringing stale bread and yesterday's cakes. We got cash handouts from other union people."

The second-eldest of five, he marvels that his 60something mother regularly flies to remote parts of the EU to monitor elections.

Also inspiring was his grandfather, Sam, the only one in whom he could confide when neglecting school work in his teens to edit a fanzine for rock band, Yes.

"When my parents found out I was flunking grades and producing this magazine, they were horrified. They thought I was throwing my life away. But my granddad kept saying, 'You keep doing what you believe in', and he sent me this note I still have, saying, 'You know I'll always back you'."

These days, home is in the Blue Mountains with Australian-born wife Leanne and daughters Estelle and Claudia.

He's been doing the promotional rounds for his show — Gold FM, Radio National's Breakfast, Channel Ten's 9am with David and Kim, 3AW's Neil Mitchell and others.

"How great to launch a TV series that's been in the planning for this long in a week that we're going to Bali," he says of Australia's involvement in this month's annual UN climate change conference.

Each episode lasts just a few minutes and is shown on the hour each hour. Next week, it's about the environmental implications of the more than 3 million tonnes (worth about $5.3 billion) of food that Australians throw out each year.


Planet Ark

The Weather Channel

Environmentalist and the environment

Media Man Australia is delighted to have met and conducted and off the record interview with Jon Dee