Darren Kindleysides has worked at AMCS since 2009 on a variety of issues including marine protected area establishment, threatened species conservation, sustainable fisheries management and mitigating the environmental impacts of marine industries, coastal development and shipping.
Darren has in-depth experience, knowledge and expertise in marine conservation having worked in this field for almost 20 years both in Australia and overseas. He has overseen the development and implementation of marine conservation programs, projects and campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the South Pacific and Europe, leading initiatives to safeguard Coral Sea reefs, Antarctic whales, Pacific turtles, Atlantic seabirds and North Sea cod.
FISHERIES AND SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD
Tooni Mahto (on maternity leave)
Tooni's love of the sea began by causing havoc in rock pools as a child around the British coastline. Following gap year underwater adventures in Thailand and East Africa, she undertook a degree in Marine Biology, worked as a diving instructor in South Africa and led scientific expeditions in Mozambique and Malawi. She has worked in television in various capacities, including an underwater camera operator and researcher at the BBC's Natural History Unit.
While undertaking a Masters in Oceanography, Tooni was one of the presenters on the BBC series 'Oceans', where she was lucky enough to dive in locations from the Arctic to the tropics, including Tasmania. Tooni is never happier than when underwater, although surfing is currently vying for top sea-based activity.
Tooni has worked in marine conservation in both an educational and campaign capacity in the UK and abroad, and after filming a series about the underwater wonders of British seas, she has transferred her skills to Australia. Tooni is based in Victoria.
Growing up in South Australia, Josh saw the impacts of unsustainable fishing practices in the areas he grew up fishing, swimming and sailboarding with his family. His childhood love for the ocean and the animals that call it home led to him studying marine biology to post-graduate level.
Josh began his career in fisheries stock assessments and aquaculture research. Josh has since lived and worked in SA, NT, WA and QLD working to protect our marine environment with national environment groups, conservation councils and Indigenous organisations.
Josh has a lifelong interest in sustainable fisheries management and is a keen diver, snorkeler, underwater photographer, recreational fisher and boat skipper.
He has previously worked on education and advocacy campaigns to protect threatened species like whales, sharks and rays, to implement marine parks, protect the Great Barrier Reef from dredging and other water quality impacts and protecting the marine environment from the impacts of oil and gas mining.
Currently based in Cairns, Queensland, Josh brings a wealth of scientific, campaigning and advocacy experience to support all of AMCS’s campaigns.
Good Fish Project Officer
Steve holds a BSc in Marine Biology from the University of Melbourne and a Diploma of Public Admin and Policy from the University of Canberra. Steve worked for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on domestic fisheries and Australian Quarantine.
He also worked as the Victorian Seanet Officer for the NGO Oceanwatch. The ocean was calling and a career with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority beckoned where he spent the next four years as an observer on various fishing vessels from Cairns to the Southern Ocean off Antarctica where he developed an in depth understanding of the many issues facing natural resource management, the channels required to address them and more importantly, the environment itself.
He grew up in Harrington on the mid north coast of NSW and has always been affiliated with all things salty. As our new Good Fish Project guru, Steve is working wth restaurants to help them serve up sustainable seafood. Steve hopes to make a positive contribution to a better understanding of our oceans, the seafood industry and the community at large.
Marine Parks Campaign Manager
Fiona grew up in Manly, South-east Queensland where she and her siblings spent hours exploring Moreton Bay’s intertidal rock pools and muddy mangroves.
Fiona studied marine biology at Griffith University and later travelled to Western Australia where she undertook honours studies on a nesting population of sea turtles in the Lowendal Islands.
Fiona has spent much of her working life focused on marine conservation, from sea turtle monitoring off North-west WA and Costa Rica to advocacy and campaign work for a range of Australian environment groups.
Fiona has also worked in wildlife management with the Queensland Government. Fiona has also volunteered much of her spare time to conservation, particularly the Save Ningaloo Reef Campaign where she helped mobilise 15,000 people to rally to protect the reef.
Fiona has dived and surfed some of the world’s most spectacular places including Australia's Coral Sea, Central and South America and south-east Asia.
Adrian is a somewhat obsessive fisherman and surfer who grew up on a small island where there wasn't much do on dry land. He developed a fascination with the sea that has proved impossible to shake.
After experiencing declining local fish stocks throughout his childhood; and later living, working and studying in communities with protected marine waters, he well knows that conservation is a great friend to fishers and coastal communities.
Holding a graduate degree in marine biology, Adrian has worked in aquaculture research in the public sector and for major commercial fishing companies, as well as campaigning for marine conservation in Australia.
Adrian wants his work in conservation to result in more abundant oceans for all, so that future generations have even better opportunities to experience, learn and enjoy the seas than he has had. Adrian is based in Western Australia.
Born in Darwin, Jacqui was swimming before she was walking and talking and feels most at home underwater. Growing up the Sunshine Coast, Jacqui spent her childhood exploring creeks and getting tumbled in the surf. Straight out of school, Jacqui worked and dived her way around the world, from Honduras to the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and Indonesia, before returning to our Great Barrier Reef.
Compelled to protect our diminishing natural resources, Jacqui later studied marine science and management at Southern Cross University. She spent the next few years working across Northern Australia in various capacities, researching coral reefs, surveying cetaceans, and working closely with Indigenous people for the sustainable management of their marine resources.
Jacqui also dived into the film and television industry, aiming to use film as a platform to portray much-needed conservation messages. Jacqui is based in Darwin and is using her extensive skills and experience to affect change for our northern coasts and seas.
Jo has always had an affinity for and interest in the ocean, despite growing up in country New South Wales. After snorkeling in the Galapagos, she decided staying at the surface wouldn’t suffice and she completed her scuba-diving certificate.
As a diver she became aware of the fragility of our oceans. This led her to volunteer in Indonesia on a reef restoration program, and she was hooked. For the next three years Jo worked as a dive instructor, and drawing upon her degree in Media Production, she created communication collateral, short videos and a documentary about local marine conservation issues, including a shark-finning fishery.
Combining her interest in marine conservation with her communications, media and film skills, Jo spent a year in Mozambique volunteering as a media guru for a manta ray and whale shark research center. Jo will use her event management and media experience to create community outreach and engagement opportunities.
Sydney Marine Campaigner
New South Wales
Fiona has alternated her career in wildlife conservation and property. She has a degree in Economics from Sydney University, Masters in Property from UTS and Animal Studies 2.
Fiona has been a crew member on four Sea Shepherd campaigns, protecting whales in Antarctica and the Faroe Islands – as rescue swimmer, deckhand and quartermaster, and Campaign Manager for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill campaign. She has hands-on experience in wildlife rehabilitation, spending over six months in Africa, and working with wild pinnipeds at the Marine Mammal Centre in San Francisco. Fiona has volunteered at the London, Beijing, Amsterdam and Taronga Zoos and was head of the youth committee for the Foundation for the National Parks and Wildlife.
Fiona’s is now focused on ensuring Australia’s unique and precious marine life is protected by delivering AMCS’s public campaign to establish marine park protection for the Hawkesbury Shelf Bioregion around Sydney.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
Imogen Zethoven AO
Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director
Before joining AMCS, Imogen led a global shark conservation campaign for The Pew Charitable Trusts based in Washington DC. Imogen had previously led Pew’s Coral Sea initiative.
Before joining Pew in 2007, Imogen was in Berlin leading WWF’s global climate campaign, PowerSwitch! and prior to that, she was leading WWF’s Great Barrier Reef campaign. In recognition of her achievements on the Reef campaign, Imogen received the Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award at the World Conservation Congress in 2004, shared with the late Hon. Virginia Chadwick.
Imogen has led many campaigns in Australia including one to phase out broadscale native vegetation clearing. Imogen was director of the Queensland Conservation Council from 1995 to 2000. From 1992 to 1994 she was environment advisor to the leader of the Australian Democrats.
Imogen holds a bachelor’s degree with honours from the University of Victoria in New Zealand and a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Adelaide. In 2006, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to conservation and the environment.
Dr Lissa Schindler
Great Barrier Reef Campaigner
Lissa is a marine ecologist who has worked in marine conservation both in Australia and overseas. She has spent time in the Philippines helping local communities manage their marine resources and also worked in the Galapagos Islands undertaking scientific surveys.
Lissa worked with AMCS back in 2005 and helped increase protection in Moreton Bay Marine Park from 1% to 16%.
Since then she has obtained a PhD, assessing the effectiveness of protected areas, and also worked for the Queensland government in environmental policy and natural resource management.
She is an avid diver and has dived around the globe but the Great Barrier Reef is still one of her favourite divespots.
Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner
Cherry’s love for the ocean stems from a childhood of exploring the seashore, islands, and fringing Reefs in Australia. It wasn’t until Cherry finished school and embarked on a trip around Australia did she truly fall in love with the Great Barrier Reef. Cherry describes her first scuba dive in the Whitsunday Islands like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, immersed in an ethereal world of colour, beauty, and enchantment.
After graduating from a Bachelor Tourism Management and Environmental Science at Southern Cross University Cherry completed an internship at Ningaloo Reef. Cherry’s passion for the ocean has led her on many adventures including kayaking around the Whitsunday Islands, working on yachts from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea, surfing in South America, diving with grey nurse sharks at Fish Rock Cave, and free diving through Cenoytes in Mexico. Cherry worked on a sailing boat in the Whitsundays, where she studied coral reefs and passionately educated guests on marine conservation and also gained her Coxswain licence. Cherry is based in Airlie Beach.
New South Wales
Ingrid has a long history with marine conservation and the environment sector in Australia. Since her early years, Ingrid has surveyed whales and sea birds on the eastern coastline. Ingrid worked on the South-east Queensland Forest Agreement on policy issues, community campaigning and conducting botanical surveys in South-east Queensland.
Ingrid has also worked in the sustainable energy sector and has management roles on other conservation organisations. She is dedicated to the protection of our precious natural environment, particularly our spectacular coasts and oceans.
Ingrid coordinates our communications, promotions and events, and helps out with fundraising to resource our campaigns. She also coordinates Turning the Tide, our supporters' magazine, and assists with various campaigns. As one of our longest standing staff members, Ingrid is shamelessly devoted to AMCS.
In 2009 she was officially recognised as a Queensland Champion of Conservation. Since mid 2013 Ingrid has been based in Sydney, New South Wales, where she has become fixated with the resident blue gropers, Port Jackson sharks and albatross off the coast.
Ingrid has been at AMCS for over a decade. She is the heart and soul of our organisation.
Kate grew up on the Sunshine Coast, where her appreciation and love of the ocean developed. Kate studied marine biology throughout high school and obtained her scuba diving and boat licences. Kate has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Queensland. Kate has worked in electorate and ministerial offices, in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Kate has extensive experience in campaigning and communications. In her work for a Northern Territory Chief Minister, she was involved in the communication campaigns to ban plastic bags and introduce a container deposit scheme.
Kate is a shrewd online campaigner, social media maestro, and an amazing addition to the AMCS team.
Born in Townsville, Kellie displayed a marked enthusiasm for conservation and animal welfare from an early age. She studied Environmental Science at James Cook University and completed a thesis on Brush Turkey behaviour in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
She has worked as an environmental scientist and was RSPCA Qld’s Director of Education for 6 years, engaging communities across the Pacific with humane education and animal welfare programs. Her work in Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Palau ignited her passion for protecting the marine environment.
Over the past 5 years Kellie honed her business management and community engagement skills as Executive Manager of Partnerships and Visitor Experience at State Library of Queensland. She forged innovative partnerships with organisations including Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Hubei Provincial Library and the School of Hard Knocks, and spear-headed a new approach to visitor engagement, resulting in a 99% client satisfaction rating.
Kellie also holds a degree in Creative Industries and is currently completing a Master of Education for Sustainability. She is delighted to be back “home” in the NFP arena and is keen to streamline AMCS operations to support our vital campaigns.
Tina Dalby keeps the finances of AMCS in ship shape, and has worked as Finance Officer for over a decade. Tina is a QuickBooks Professional Partner and is currently completing her Diploma in Accounting with the NIA.
Tina has always loved Australia's oceans since her father taught her an appreciation for boats and boating, to be able to fish and ski at a very early age. Tina takes every opportunity to get out on the water with her husband and kids to explore our beautiful big blue backyard.
All her life Julie has been swimming and surfing up and down Australia's east coast. She grew up in Brisbane, taking time out every weekend to soak up the sunshine on the Gold Coast.
With a degree in Social Sciences, Julie had an extensive career in government before breaking into the wonderful world of marine conservation.
Although a Southport Yacht Club member for many years, she remains hopeless at sailing. Julie learns Russian in her spare time and loves to travel to Europe and the USA to visit her daughters.
Julie is a coffee addict, can't pass up an invitation out to breakfast and in her other working life is a social media guru in Brisbane's restaurant scene.
Tribute to Felicity Wishart
The Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Australian environmental movement is in mourning over the sudden and unexpected loss of Felicity ‘Flic’ Wishart who passed away in her sleep on Sunday night aged 50.
Flic was one of Australia’s leading conservationists and was a great and inspiring champion for the planet, the cause she dedicated her life to.
For thirty years Flic played a fundamental role in many of the key environmental campaigns in Australia.
Flic was a leader of seminal campaigns to protect the rainforests, to stop land clearing in Queensland, to confront the threat of climate change and national campaigns to protect the marine environment through the creation of a national network of marine protected areas and in her last, greatest and yet unfinished campaign, to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
She was a hugely influential force in the Australian environmental movement working at the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Queensland Conservation Council, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Marine Conservation Society to tremendous effect. She mentored and inspired many newer campaigners, especially up and coming women in the environment movement.
None worked harder, with as much grace and achieved as many results to protect our heritage. As a leader she combined great warmth and humility, with an ability to understand and fearlessly challenge powerful forces that threatened our heritage.
All Australians, whether they realise it or not, owe a debt of gratitude for her work. We are all beneficiaries of her life and work.
As campaign director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Fight for the Reef campaign she spearheaded the work that has led to a massive increase in protection for the Great Barrier Reef over the last three years.
She was a beloved mentor and guide, friend and confidant, inspiration and leader, mother and partner. Her intelligence, warmth, wisdom and energy are irreplaceable.
For someone with so much love and time for others it is now that we must continue her work to make Australia a better place for all.
Her legacy will endure. Her fight is our fight.
Our hearts are with her family, including her partner and two young sons at this tragic time.