‘You’re three years old, you’re growing up without a father’
The late Steve Irwin‘s son Robert has said growing up without his father was “indescribably difficult”.
Speaking to GQ Australia, the 20-year-old opened up on the challenged he faced after losing his conservationist father at the age of three.
“When you lose someone like that, and it’s such a public thing – you’re three years old, you’re growing up without a father – it’s incredibly difficult,” he said. “It is indescribably difficult.
“But on the other side of that, now, when people come up to me and share a story of when they met Dad, tell me how much his documentary meant to them, I almost feel like I get a little piece of him back.”
Steve Irwin tragically died in 2006, after he was pierced in the chest by the barb of a stingray while filming in the Batt Reef in Queensland.
Growing up in the world-famous Australian family, now fronted by mother Terry and his sister Bindi, Robert has been bringing his late father’s message of conservation to a whole new generation.
“He’s not around anymore to push his message,” Irwin told the publication. “Now it’s my job.”
He also has amassed a huge following on social media, where he spreads his knowledge of conserving nature to millions of young viewers.
“Everyone’s got a voice, everyone has the power to make change in your own household, in your own community. Everyone can lead by example,” he said.
“I hate to be the one to say that change has to start with a conversation. I want to just say, ‘We’ve had enough conversation, it is time for action’. Unfortunately, we still have to make climate change, unsustainable population growth, habitat destruction, unsustainable mining operation … we have to make this a mainstream discussion.”