Darren Kindleysides, Director
Darren Kindleysides is the Director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), a leading Australian charity dedicated to the protection of the marine environment. He 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.
Tooni Mahto, Marine Campaigner
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 theUKand abroad, and after filming a series about the underwater wonders of British seas, she has transferred her skills to Australia.
With a strong academic, media and conservation background, Tooni is excited to be working at the AMCS on sustainable seafood issues, including fisheries management and shark conservation.
Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Manager
Felicity Wishart is working to protect the Reef from the proposed rapid expansion of industrial development along its coastline. Trained in environmental science, Felicity has been involved in environmental advocacy at the state, national and international level for over 20 years, and has a solid track record of success. During the early 2000s Felicity was Coordinator of the Queensland Conservation Council and subsequently National Strategies Coordinator for The Wilderness Society.
Felicity’s marine campaign achievements include being one of the key strategists in the campaign to secure the world's largest network of offshore marine reserves around Australia, overseeing campaigns which have secured 25 state-based marine reserves in NSW, SA, WA and the NT, comprising more than 3 million hectares, securing an increase in the final World Heritage boundaries for Ningaloo Reef, and leading leading the successful campaign to protect Moreton Bay from unsustainable sea cage fish farming.
Over the years, Felicity has worked with other conservation groups, in government, academia and with industry on diverse issues such the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, ecotourism, fisheries, energy efficiency and national park management. She is revelling in the opportunity to protect Australia's greatest natural icon, the Great Barrier Reef from this latest emerging threat.
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. Like many Australians the Great Barrier Reef holds a special place for Lissa and she has joined the campaign to help ensure it remains special.
Cherry Muddle, 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 has volunteered with AMCS since February and now works as the regional campaigner in the Whitsundays.
Pam Allen, Marine Campaigner
Pam's love of the ocean began at a young age in an unlikely place - a movie theatre in the heart of land-locked Toronto,Canada. During a matinee viewing of Pinocchio, her mother reports that, as Pinocchio plunged into the sea to find his father, Pam stood up in her seat in rapt attention, only sitting down after the great whale spurted the little puppet and his father, Jepetto, back on to land.
Pam has extensive experience working on marine conservation campaigns in Canada and here in Australia. She holds a Master's degree from the Fisheries Centre at theUniversity of British Columbia, where she studied Steller sea lion life history in relation to fisheries management. In Vancouver, she worked with a marine conservation group on marine park planning as well as a sustainable seafood program. Since arriving in Brisbane Pam has volunteered and worked with AMCS on various campaigns, including plastics and sustainable seafood projects.
Pam now works at AMCS as a Marine Campaigner. Her focus is on sustainable seafood and fisheries management issues. She is inspired by Australians' love and connection to the sea, as she still stands up in wonderment at the beauty of our coastal spaces.
Samantha Nowland, Northern Marine Campaigner
Sam’s dreams of the ocean began from childhood stories her father told, describing the ocean as another world, a place unlike anything on land.
Sam is a borne and bred Territorian and after leaning to dive in the Darwin Harbour, she became addicted to any watersports available. She has dived, snorkeled, fished, swam, camped beside, sailed and skied the marine waters of the NT.
Sam studied Marine Biology and Aquaculture along the shores of the Great Barrier Reef, at James Cook University. During university Sam split her time between studies, working as a Divemaster, sailing yachts and volunteering for marine research projects.
She then completed an Honours year studying the population genetics of sea cumbers in Papua New Guinea, to support sustainable mariculture. She has extensive technical experience in marine biology and aquatic animal health, through her work as a barramundi hatchery technician and her many volunteer roles.In her role at AMCS, Sam is working towards building community interest in and engagement with the protection of the Northern Territory’s marine environment.
Ingrid Neilson, Communications Manager
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, demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of reducing greenhouse gases in the built environment. With management roles on other conservation organisations, Ingrid is dedicated to the protection of our precious natural environment, particularly our spectacular coasts and oceans and the wonderful wildlife within.
Ingrid coordinates our communications, promotions and events, and helps out with fundraising to resource our campaigns. She also coordinates Turning the Tide, our quarterly supporters' magazine, and assists with various campaigns. As our longest standing staff member, Ingrid is shamelessly devoted to AMCS.
In 2009 she was officially recognised as a Queensland Champion of Conservation.
Jacki Boyce, Online Campaigns and Communications Officer (on study leave)
Jacki's love for the marine environment flourished from growing up spending weekends and holidays on the beautiful beaches of the southern Gold Coast. From building sandcastles and body boarding as a kid, to scuba diving, attempting to surf and studying the oceans as an adult, Jacki has been inspired and enamoured by the sea all her life.
Jacki pursued her passion for the marine environment by studying a Bachelor of Marine Studies at the University of Queensland. Majoring in marine biology and ecology, she also completed her Honours in Coastal Management and spent a year studying marine biology and scientific scuba diving in California, USA. She has also worked at UQ as a research assistant in the geography and environmental management department.
She has worked at AMCS since 2008 and is passionate about educating and inspiring others to enjoy and care for our amazing yet under-protected oceans.
Kate Simpson, Communications Officer
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. Pursuing her love of writing, she studied Journalism at 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.
Karen Furnivall, Fundraising Manager
Karen Furnivall grew up spending holidays from a young age enjoying South East Queensland's beaches. Her love for the oceans has led to spending most of her spare time SCUBA diving, snorkelling, kayaking and island camping in Australia and other beautiful places around the world.
Karen has worked and volunteered for not-for-profit organisations for over a decade, as a manager of fundraising, foundations, volunteers and projects. A member of Fundraising Institute of Australia, she is also studying for her Graduate Certificate in Philanthropy and Non Profit Studies at QUT.
Karen is delighted to work for AMCS as Fundraising Manager, combining her passion for protecting our precious sea life with her commitment to the not-for-profit sector.
Asia Armstrong, Supporters Coordinator
Asia Armstrong's love for the ocean started from a young age, growing up on the northern New South Wales beaches. She was born to sea-faring parents who fostered an appreciation of the blue, so that when she’s too far from the sea she feels restless.
Asia has travelled to some of the world's top dive locations - from Borneo to Egypt and Zanzibar, but she knows that Australia's beaches and marine wildlife are among the best on Earth. This connection to the sea makes Asia knowledgeable and dedicated to its conservation.
Asia is currently studying a Bachelor of Marine Studies at UQ, majoring in Marine Biology and Ecology. She started volunteering with AMCS in 2011 and now works as our Supporter Manager, assisting with campaigns, events and keeping the office ship shape.
Tina Dalby, Finance Officer
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.