Creating a positive legacy in memory of Ryan James Robertson

A couple of weeks ago I took a call from Shane Robertson, who shared the very sad news that his brother Ryan had passed away a couple of days earlier, after a brief and sudden illness.

Ryan James Robertson (30th Nov 1987 – 14th Nov 2020) was a design industry professional with a long-standing interest in issues of civic space, local biodiversity and effective climate action. His vocations, educational pursuits, hobbies and volunteering efforts reflected these interests. He had a strong desire to understand local culture and society, and passionately understood and contributed to efforts to protect, sustain and enhance local environments so they could be explored and enjoyed by the community.

Ryan Robertson during a return cycling trip from Anglesea to Deans Marsh. Photo courtesy of Victor Bredin, ARM Architecture.

Despite the family’s immense grief at the loss of Ryan, Shane explained that they also felt very strongly about wanting to create a positive legacy to honour Ryan and his passion for the environment, by giving those who cared about him a tangible and lasting way to express their support. Given that Ryan and other family members have been avid followers of NGT’s work in western Victoria and beyond, they asked us to assist in setting up a fundraiser to take donations in lieu of other forms of expressing sympathy (such as sending flowers).

The result over the past 2 weeks has been incredibly heartening for the family, with almost 90 donations raising more than $8500. To everyone who has contributed so far, the family extends their sincere thanks for this generous demonstration of support.

The specific initiative or project to benefit from Ryan’s fundraiser will be determined very soon in consultation with his family, prior to a thanksgiving service for Ryan’s life which is scheduled for Saturday the 12th of December.

Until then, if you would like to contribute to Ryan’s legacy while the fundraiser is still open, you can click here or click on the image below.

Click on the image above to make a donation via PayPal

Finally, to give you a sense of the impact that Ryan had on those who knew him, a few of the (anonymised) messages of support we have received so far include:

“Ryan was a wonderful man with a generous heart.”

“Ryan was a respectful and generous person to study with, a talented and patient person to work with, and an honest, thoughtful and friendly person to talk with. He will be fondly remembered and sorrowfully missed.”

“To Ryan’s family – in memory of a wonderful young man.”

“Rest in Peace, Ryan. You were a good friend, colleague and role model. We are all better for knowing you. You will be missed, but will live on in all of us. Godspeed”

“In loving memory of Ryan Robertson. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.“

Mark Bachmann