Rhys Jones was a public intellectual who has been a leader in the discussion of world heritage, conservation and Aboriginal social justice issues. His views helped shape the Australian public's appreciation of both our past and our present. His work at Kutakina cave in Tasmania, for example, was fundamental to the nomination and subsequent listing of this area of the Franklin river on the World Heritage List. He had a deep knowledge of Australia's Indigenous heritage and the rare ability to engender enthusiasm for this subject in both students and members of the general public. As such, he made major contributions to the quality of Australian society through enhancing a broad community understanding of Indigenous cultures.