TRIBUTE: Friends vow Tony's legacy will continue
ARTIST, photographer, environmentalist, producer - Tony Allison embodied the creative, nature-loving, social justice-seeking, direct-action taking, free community Lismore likes to be known for.
Mr Allison was as much of Lismore as he was of Borneo, the place he loved and helped protect. Equally, he was also as much of Budgerum, Victoria, were he grew up and where he put his first 'gigs' together as a teenager, doing the lighting for the local theatre company.
Born in Melbourne, Mr Allison was always travelling, always busy with a project - like when he pas part of the team that did the lighting show on the river for the Brisbane World Expo 1988.
He was involved with Tropical Fruits, Big Day Out and other big events around the country, but his passion was helping the indigenous communities in Borneo and keeping orangutans safe from the dangers of deforestation.
Mr Allison's sudden passing shocked many, especially his mother Angela, and his step-sister Chi Chi Murray, both Queensland residents.
"Trying to keep up with Tony was very hard," Mrs Murray said, struggling to contain her emotions when asked how will she remember Tony.
"He was a soft, gentle, kind, loving human being.
"The well-being of the orangutans and the damage being done to the jungle and the suffering of the people of Borneo was very important to him," she said.
Tropical Fruits, an organisation Mr Allison was part of for more than a decade as production manager, also paid tribute to him.
"He tirelessly put in enormous effort, time, generosity, sweat and we are sure at times even tears, as he managed our technical production with a crew from diverse backgrounds with vastly different skills and abilities," Tropical Fruits posted on social media.
"He was able to do this with grace, humour and the ability to instil pride in everyone's work. Tony was always teaching, even when he wasn't. No one came away from a NYE working with Tony without having learned new skills and more importantly, how to use them."
Last week, young Asha Mortel spoke at the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament in Brisbane about deforestation in Borneo.
Ms Mortel was taken to Borneo for the first time, aged 14, by Tony Allison, and although she was sad to hear of his passing, she was determined to take on the legacy and continue with the work Mr Allison ignited in many like herself.