Steve Irwin Said Quarantine Matters to Australia

Steve Irwin died today, tragically killed by the barb of a stingray during filming for a television documentary. Steve’s known in Australia and around the world as The Crocodile Hunter, a man with a passion for preserving and celebrating wildlife. He and his wife Terri have successfully developed ‘Australia Zoo‘, an hour north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, a tourist attraction and wildlife sanctuary. Steve was a cultural ambassador for Australia, and an advocate for the use of Australian classic vernacular language. See Steve in action at Australia Zoo, at YouTube.

Steve Irwin talks about quarantine from the rainforest

Steve Irwin Tribute DVD at Amazon.comSteve was only 44, born on February 22, 1962, the same day as me!

In honour of Steve’s life, here are three television advertisements Steve made for the Australian Government’s Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), part of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Steve first began his association with the quarantine campaign in 2002, and made these three spots in 2005. The AQIS television campaigns were developed at Killey Withy Punshon Advertising (KWP).

The spots were shown on incoming flights to Australia, as well as on television, and were supported by light boxes at airports and a print campaign. Since Irwin’s death, AQIS has withdrawn the advertisements as a mark of respect for the family.


Steve gets out of the way of a dangerous crocodile at Australia Zoo before reminding travellers about the hazards associated with illegal importing of banned vegetation. Click on the image below to play the video.


Steve stands on an airport runway, hands in the air, telling us that he’s at the gateway to the world’s largest wildlife sanctuary. It’s called Australia. “Crikey!”, he says and ducks as a plane comes into land over his head.

Steve speaks from within a green rainforest setting to tell us, “The invisible fence that protects our natural wonders and agriculture is quarantine. Help them make sure that nothing dangerous gets in”. We see scenes from an airport, a beagle, and a woman finding bananas in her hand luggage, as Steve continues to give advice. “Declare all food, plant and animal material because that’s where the danger lurks. If you don’t, and they find, it could be a whopping fine for you. Quarantine Matters!”

Mail & Cargo

Steve pops open a door in a red mail box to say “Gidday!”. In the background is a sign saying “Zoological Society of London”. In fact the ad was filmed in Brisbane. Steve jumps out of the box to say, “To protect the wildlife sanctuary called Australia, quarantine inspects all incoming mail and all cargo containers. So make sure that no one’s sending you or us a problem. Quarantine matters!”

Boats & Planes

Steve speaks from a small boat, the sound of seagulls in the background. “Quarantine is everywhere protecting this amazing wildlife sanctuary Australia”. A plane flies over. “Airports, cruise ships, terminals, wherever you travel. Quarantine Matters!”

Other Steve Irwin TV Ads

See Tim Nudd’s post at Adfreak, with a reference to Steve Irwin’s battle with the Florida Crocodile mascot for ESPN. One of the comments gives a reference to the Fedex ad Steve did in which he discovers that the antidote for his snake bite hasn’t been sent via Fedex. (See my later post on the Fedex Snake ad).

Filed under: Commercials

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