Announcing the Ryan James Robertson Memorial Fund

Further to this recent story in our November newsletter, today we are very proud to announce the creation of the Ryan James Robertson Memorial Fund, within the NGT Foundation.

This perpetual named fund has been established at the request of Ryan’s family, and is comprised of over 140 donations from family and friends who have contributed in a show of solidarity, sympathy and support. Incredibly, thanks to this collective goodwill and generosity, the starting balance of Ryan’s fund at the time of writing (Feb 2021) is in now in excess of $30,000.

With the creation of this new fund in our Foundation, it is an absolute privilege to be able to share Ryan’s story with you, as told by his family:

Ryan James Robertson was a much-loved son, brother, grandson, partner, nephew, colleague, and friend to many. He was an Architect, a Landscape Architect, an Urban Designer, a Planner and was studying Economics to see how best it integrates with the culture and society he belonged to. He looked after his body well and kept fit by running, cycling, and involving himself in umpiring for the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

Ryan was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of lung cancer on 30 October 2020 and left us on 14 November 2020. He was 32 years of age.

Ryan the person is best described “… as a design industry professional with a long-standing interest in issues of civic space and local biodiversity, and a vigour for effective climate action. He had actively chosen both educational and professional pathways which had offered him a breadth of experience, and importantly, opportunities to contribute to social capital. This unique skill set, generalist by nature, was driven by an earnest desire to understand the culture and society to which he belonged…” He lived and breathed these words.

Ryan in Nepal on the Annapurna trail, when he volunteered with Architects without Frontier’s. Photograph courtesy of Peter and Kerrie Robertson.

Ryan was a passionate environmentalist. He chose to commute by bicycle, lived simply, had few material needs, was involved in numerous “Friends” Groups, and simply put, tread lightly upon the earth.

He often talked about how spaces are core to one’s well-being and that the creation of ‘healing spaces’ must be a collaborative effort of designers, social and advocacy organisations. His volunteering with the Office of the Public Advocate as a Community Visitor encouraged him to pursue his research so that he might use his prior studies, skills, knowledge and passion to make a positive difference to the communities he was a part of.

Ryan loved life and made the most of opportunities offered to him, as well as continually seeking to improve himself and the lives of others. We are thankful that we had the gift of being part of his life’s journey and are grateful to all who shared with and cared for Ryan. He is now nestled in a Healing Space, like the ones that he endeavoured to create throughout his time with us.

Ryan’s fund will perpetually support the work of Nature Glenelg Trust, including the ongoing care of our permanent restoration reserves, such as Walker Swamp.

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Named Funds as at February 2021:

The Arrawatta Fund

Moore Family Fund

James Darling AM & Lesley Forwood Fund

NGT Reserves Fund

OneFortyOne Fund

Ryan James Robertson Memorial Fund

Vegetation Link Fund

Mark Bachmann