Generous $1.14 million legacy for wildlife: in memory of Steven Christopher Kolb

16 Dec. 2022
Wayne Lawler/AWC

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) deeply respects that leaving a legacy for wildlife in your will can be one of the most important decisions you make during your lifetime. We feel greatly honoured by those who choose to include AWC in their plans.

The late Steven Christopher Kolb bequeathed an incredibly generous $1.14 million legacy gift to AWC. Steven’s good friend Peter Mueller notes that ‘Steve was impressed by the entirety of the work carried out by AWC and by Martin Copley’s [AWC Founder] vision and entrepreneurial spirit. Steve was a unique individual – independent, honest and straightforward – and he particularly liked that AWC is a private organisation and not influenced by government.’

Steven Christopher Kolb, 9/12/1952–5/12/2018

Steven led an adventurous life, moving across the world from Switzerland to Australia at the age of 22. Steven was convinced the country was his kind of place – ‘easy-going, informal, lovely climate and not too crowded.’

Finding himself at a loose end, Steven visited friends at their Pingelly farm in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia and promptly found himself falling in love with farming, particularly being outdoors and surrounded by animals. Animal care was always high on his agenda and, after eventually purchasing his own small farm, Steven would call Pingelly home for the rest of his life.

Steven and Peter established a yabby farm and, through extensive research, close care for animal welfare and by using science to inform business processes, Steven perfected yabby collection and transportation techniques. In 1990 Steven and Peter pioneered yabby exports to Switzerland with a modest first year turnover of 2 tonnes. Just four years later, the team shipped out 70 tonnes of yabbies to various countries in Europe and Asia and won the 1994 West Australian Export Award for Agricultural Products.

Corinne Achermann
Martin Copley’s vision, dedication and relentless work to conserve endangered Australian animals and plants inspired Steven Kolb to bequeath a major part of his estate to AWC. A memorial was held at Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary, WA, in celebration of Steven’s life and to show AWC’s deep appreciation of his legacy gift. From left to right: Rebecca Wellard (AWC), Liz Mueller, Kaethi Mueller, Samara Achermann, Roger Achermann, Marcel Achermann, Chloe Robertson, Beth Reid (AWC), Andre van Boheemen (AWC) and Clint McGee (AWC). Front: Peter Mueller.

Steven died too soon at the age of 65. Before his death he took the time to reflect on his life, writing ‘I have had an interesting and enjoyable working life, with huge challenges, but overcoming them was part of it. Thank goodness I did not have to spend 40 years stuck in some office, as many have to! When we risk living, we risk dying. Farming has taught me that birth and death are just part of the natural cycle of life, so I accept that.’

Rest in Peace, Steven Christopher Kolb. Your personal legacy of friendship, enterprise and knowledge lives on in those who knew you. Your legacy gift to AWC means that your incredible generosity will have a lasting, positive impact on Australia’s threatened wildlife and habitats.


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Wayne Lawler/AWC
Wayne Lawler/AWC
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