Robert Irwin shares emotional tribute to Steve during Sunrise interview

The Wildlife Warrior said it's the honour of his lifetime to continue his dad's mission.

Following his recent Father’s Day post, Robert Irwin has shared an emotional tribute to his late dad Steve during an appearance on Sunrise.

The 19-year-old spoke openly with the breakfast show’s hosts Nat Barr and Matt Shirvington on Friday morning about continuing his dad’s legacy 17 years on from his shock death.

Sunrise's Nat Barr and Matt Shirvington speaking with Robert Irwin.
Robert Irwin appeared on Sunrise to talk about continuing his dad’s legacy 17 years after his death. Photo: Channel Seven

“I think what strikes me every single day is just how alive dad’s message and legacy truly is, and I don’t think that will ever truly die,” he said.

“The amount of time, effort, love, blood, sweat and tears that he put into his message, and also to our family, is something that we’ll take away and will live on forever.

“And just that spirit of living every day to the fullest, of loving life and just going like a bull out of a gate every single day living it to 110 per cent, it’s the way to be and it’s something that I will carry with me forever. And carrying on that mission, it’s the honour of my lifetime, that’s for sure.”


Nat then shared that she believes Steve would be incredibly proud of Robert and all that he has done to continue his dad’s work in wildlife conservation.

“Thank you very much, I would hope so,” Robert replied.

“It’s a hard thing, it’s big shoes to fill, but I see myself following in those footsteps. No one will be dad, no one will match that incredible superhero of a human being that he was, but if I can live half the life he did and hopefully inspire as many people as he did, I’ll be one happy man, that’s for sure.”

Robert Irwin on Sunrise.
‘Carrying on that mission, it’s the honour of my lifetime, that’s for sure.’ Photos: Channel Seven

'He's always with us'

Robert brought his followers to tears over the weekend when he shared a montage of clips with his dad to celebrate Father’s Day.

“Days like this are filled with so many different emotions, but above all, I choose to make it a happy day to remember the best moments with the best Dad,” he captioned the post.

“This made me cry,” one person commented. “Your dad was a ‘once in a generation’ type of amazing man and he wasn’t afraid to show the world his heart, either for wildlife or for his family.”

“The entire planet loved him,” another added, while a third said, “I'm so sorry you didn't get much time with him but he lives and she's through you and Bindi”.

“Oh, and how he adored you kids!! I’ll never forget the love beaming from his eyes,” actress Magda Szubanski shared.

“Dad is SO. PROUD. OF. YOU,” his sister Bindi Irwin replied. “He’s always with us. Love you.”

Steve's 'ultimate goal'

Robert also posted a video on Wednesday of Steve talking about his hope for his children to one day carry on his legacy.

“Is there anything in this world that would want to make me give away what I’m doing now? Yes, yes there is,” he said.


“When my children can take the football that I call wildlife conservation and run it up. When they’re ready to run up our mission, I will gladly step aside.

“And I guarantee you that will be the proudest moment of my life and my job will be done. then and only then will I know that I have achieved my ultimate goal, to be able to stand aside and let them run up my mission.”

Robert’s mother Terri took to the comments to write: “I know your dad is so proud of you. I love you.”

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