Sally Riordan

[Adam Tiller and Sharryn Muir]


I have known Sally since I was about 4 years old, as I went to primary school and secondary school with their eldest son Peter. Sally and Roger had the most profound influence on my childhood and teenage years.

Not only am I a computer scientist, but I've worked at the Australian Conservation Foundation for five years now as a part-time project administrator and I'm an avid bushwalker. But it is only now, upon sad and happy reflection, can say that it was Sally (and Roger) who introduced me to the bush and to "practice-what-you-preach" environmentalism.

The skills I learnt orienteering on many weekends with the Riordans have lead Sharryn and I safely on many seven-day wilderness bush walks in Victoria, NSW and Northern Territory - and not so safely in Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Sharryn will attest to the many times I have spoken about the Riordans in the last few years,

  • remembering the magic-associated camping trips to the Cathedral ranges
  • remembering Sally's brown bread and thickly sliced tasty cheese - an artefact that that I encountered nowhere else in my life
  • camping on the river near Licola

Seminal memories

  • evening meetings of the Field Naturalists Club
  • knowing the species
  • the house at 15 Regent street, Sally's home
  • the native garden (the first I knew)

Sharryn tells me of the excitement and passion in my voice and expression when I have recounted these memories of Sally and her family. I tried to describe Sally, and I came up with many different words, all so true for such a whole and complete woman.

Although I listed many words, each is true for me and no doubt for everyone here.

  • I know Sally as a positive, creative, humble and intelligent woman.
  • I know her as honorable, resilient, sensitive, scientific and rational.
  • Sally is for me a progressive, non-conformist, adventurous, worldly, happy and content woman and mother.
  • For me, she was the original "greenie", long before the term was coined.

Upon reflection, Sally and Roger, who complemented each other so well, showed me a model for life and lifestyle - a balance of bushwalking and love of nature, family and passion for work and intellectual challenge.

In fact, this is the model that Sharryn and I both aspire to, for us and our future family.

We're having a baby in a few weeks, and I look forward to offering him or her what the Riordans offered to me - appreciation of the natural world, its ecology and many other sciences, and its adventures.

Sally was certainly the most influential woman in my life up until I was a young teenager (actually 16 years old) apart from my own mother, Jenny Tiller.

I remember Sally with great fondness and great memories.

It is important for me to be able to say the thankyous that I have never said, and goodbye, and to offer my own sincere and deep sympathy to Peter and Adrian and Sarah and Roger

[Adam was the boy who helped provide the inspiration for the Cybec Foundation.]

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019

Tribute from Adam Tiller & Sharryn Muir