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Benjamin

Benjamin KEARNEY

Year of Award: 2006 Award State: Tasmania Environment > Sustainability
Trades > Baking
The Jack Sheeran Churchill Fellowship to investigate environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging technologies for the baking industry - Italy, Germany, U.K., USA
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Ben Kearney is a former Tasmanian of the Year and Australian of the Year – Local Hero 2005 – who through his successful East Coast Bakery/Café businesses, and as President of the Freycinet Tourism Association, created Australia’s first plastic-shopping-bag- free town in Coles Bay in 2003. This promoted Tasmania internationally and led to other towns, council areas and states banning plastic shopping bags.

As a Churchill Fellow, Ben studied the evolution of sustainable packaging technologies, specifically bioplastics and sustainable retailing, with a focus on the retail and tourism sectors.

Since Ben’s Fellowship, and following a concerted ten-year campaign, in 2013 Tasmania (with bi-partisan support) banned single-use plastic shopping bags – as did other states and territories around Australia.

Ben now lives at Turners Beach in Tasmania’s Northwest with his wife Jackie and two daughters. After selling their businesses, Ben has developed a career in industry body management. He recently completed a Master’s in Business and a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy at UTAS and now works as the National Policy Manager for the Australian Newsagents Federation, helping small business owners and lobbying government on their behalf at state and national level.

Ben has remained involved in the social and environmental charity ‘Do Something’ as a board member for a number of years. He is also a keen mountain biker, and is involved in the Tasmanian Kitesurfing Association. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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