Lovingly, single-minded Terri has encouraged their children – Bindi, 23, and 17-year-old Robert – to build on their late father’s legacy.
“We communicate well, and I think it’s a natural effect of losing Steve,” Terri, 57, explained.
“I think we became stronger and closer as a family.”
Together and separately, the terrific trio has continued to share the Wildlife Warrior’s message through globally-syndicated TV specials and series, like Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors, Bindi The Jungle Girl, Robert’s Ten Deadliest Snakes and, most recently, Crikey! It’s the Irwins.
Robert, a real mini-Steve, has discussed habitat protection with Prince Charles, met other world leaders and regularly appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the US.
The charismatic teenager has emerged as a passionate nature photographer, whose award-winning work features regularly in Australia Zoo’s Crikey magazine.
His big sister has flourished, too. Winning both the TV Week Most Popular New Female Talent Logie and a Daytime Emmy Award in 2008, Bindi has chatted about conservation and her famous father with Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, and David Letterman.
A proud ambassador for Australian tourism, Bindi has acted in two films, written books, hosted her own nature-themed game show, and released several fitness DVDs for children.
She also won the US version of Dancing with the Stars in 2015, breaking the record for most ‘perfect 10’ scores on her way to being the series’ champion.
Her proudest achievements, however, are her marriage to “best friend” and “soulmate” Chandler Powell, 24, and their beautiful baby daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell.
The couple met when Chandler, a champion wakeboarder from Florida, made a chance visit to Australia Zoo in 2013 and was immediately bowled over by Bindi.
Their long-distance relationship flourished, and in 2018, he moved to live with his love in Queensland.
“He’s passed the Irwin family khaki test,” laughed Bindi, who didn’t hesitate to accept Chandler’s proposal when he popped the question in 2019 on her 21st birthday.
Their wedding – in Australia Zoo’s gardens, of course! – beat COVID restrictions by hours on March 25 last year.
Announcing the wedding news on social media, Bindi said: “We planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests.
“Mum helped me get ready, Robert walked me down the aisle, Chandler became my husband and together we lit a candle in Dad’s memory. We shared tears and smiles and love. Thankfully, as we all live at Australia Zoo as a family, we could be there for each other.”
It’s a sentiment dear to newly minted grandmother Terri’s heart. “I feel a connection still with Steve. He’s very special to me and continues to be.”
But she revels in his ongoing inheritance.
“We are a family who works together, lives together and holidays together – we spend almost every moment in each other’s company,” she told The Australian Women’s Weekly.
“I have a saying that the meaning of life is unconditional love and that’s what we have for each other.”