Charles Heath OAM, co-founder of Australia’s largest cooperative real estate network, passed away yesterday at the age of 80 in Bairnsdale Victoria.

Mr Heath, along with Bill Wood, jointly founded the First National Real Estate network in 1981, which has grown to become the largest cooperative real estate network in Australasia today. It has more than 400 offices represented in all states and territories of the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, and neighbouring South Pacific countries.

‘First National Real Estate received news of Charles’ passing yesterday afternoon’ said First National chairman, Mr David Nitschke.

‘Mr Heath was a major proponent of change, a man who set a standard for others to follow, and he remained very interested in First National Real Estate’s progress all his life. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2013 for his dedication and commitment to excellence in Australian real estate’.

Mr Heath was a leading advocate within the real estate industry for more than 50 years and set the benchmark for ecological sustainable development, well before the concept achieved popular acclaim.

He was instrumental in the development of Paynesville’s canals, the Kings Cove Residential Development in Metung, and real estate development throughout the Gippsland and Gippsland East region. His real estate initiatives became hugely successful and emulated by many.

Mr Heath’s late wife Kaye Heath was also instrumental in the foundation of the network, with the network’s highest award, the Kaye Heath Memorial Award named in her honour.

First National chief executive Ray Ellis said that he had valued the opportunity to seek guidance from Mr Heath’s invaluable experience as well as to embrace his foresight on many occasions.

“Chas’ attendance at the network’s 30th anniversary celebrations in 2012 was a highlight of the year for many of our members. They saw first hand Chas’ unwavering passion for our network and its ongoing success,” Mr Ellis said.

On receipt of his OAM in 2013, Mr Heath said “I have always had a strong belief that you should lead, not follow, and this is the philosophy that the First National Real Estate network was built on. It is gratifying to have seen it become such an influential force and the third largest network by market share in the industry today.”

Issued by: First National Real Estate. For further information contact:
Stewart Bunn, National Communications Manager, First National Real Estate on
1800 032 332 or 0413 624 317