Skip Navigation
  • We are Australia's only national charity dedicated solely to protecting our precious ocean wildlife.

    The Australian Marine Conservation Society is the voice for Australia's ocean wildlife

Join our Mailing List

Make a Donation

Choose Wisely

Sustainable Seafood Guide

Love your seafood but also love our oceans? We are proud to offer Australia's first online sustainability guide to seafood.

Visit the online guide

Our Staff

Darren Kindleysides, Director (Brisbane)

Darren Kindleysides AMCS DirectorDarren 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, Senior Marine Campaigner (Victoria) 

Tooni Mahto, Marine CampaignerTooni'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. 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, including filming a series about the underwater wonders of British seas.

Josh Coates, Fisheries and Seafood Campaigner (Adelaide)

Josh Coates. AMCS Fisheries CamapignerGrowing 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 our Great Barrier Reef from dredging and other water quality impacts and protecting the marine environment from the impacts of oil and gas mining.

Josh brings a wealth of scientific, campaigning and advocacy experience to support all of AMCS’s campaigns.

MARINE PARKS

Adele Pedder, Marine Campaign Manager (NT)

Adele Peder Marine Parks Manager

Having grown up aboard boats Adele has been very fortunate to experience the power and beauty of our seas up close and personal. She did school by correspondence from the nav table, explored deserted islands barefoot, swam in wide open seas and on coral fringed islands, sailed silently under star filled skies, and also been forced to return to port due to poor weather on more than one occasion.

Adele wishes that everyone could see what she has as she's sure that there'd be many like her dedicating their lives to protecting the wonders of our unque coasts and seas.

Adele did her undergraduate studies in Environmental Sciences at James Cook University in Townsville. Her passion for affecting change led her to a Masters in Politics and eventually to be Chief of Staff with a well respected Greens MP in the Victorian Parliament.

Adele is returning to AMCS after a 10 year absence from the organisation. Previously she was the AMCS NT Marine Campaigner. She is very happy to be back with what she says is Australia's great marine conservation organisation - AMCS.

Adrian Meder, Marine Campaigner (Margaret River)

Adrian Meder Marine CampaignerAdrian 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.

Emma Barrett, Community Campaigner (NT)

Adrian Meder Marine CampaignerEmma became fascinated by the natural environment and its animals after growing up with David Attenborough documentaries and pets. Though she moved around WA until her early teens, she was inspired to go on solo ‘scientific expeditions’ to the nearby beach, bush or hills.

After being raised with boating, snorkelling and swimming with whale sharks along the WA coasts, Emma realised how precious these places were and wanted to protect them, so that they would still be there in the future.

This love for the natural environment led Emma to complete a Bachelor of Environmental Science at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, majoring in wildlife conservation and biology.

Jimmy Cordwell, Marine Campaigner (Brisbane)

Adrian Meder Marine CampaignerJimmy studied Environmental Conservation and has since worked in marine education and advocacy roles around the country.

There's two major things Jimmy learnt from his travels. Firstly, how endlessly amazing and inspiring our natural world is, and that in using nature's beauty we can inspire an increase to our knowledge of the world around us, building a stronger appreciation for it. Secondly, that everyone can make positive changes in their life to make a difference to our world. Whatever our origins, everyone has the choice to take the little steps that lead to huge positive changes around them.

Every day he wakes with the coast on his mind, be it camping out on beaches and diving in sub-tropical Queensland, or trawling through pages laced with natural photography and inspiring words. Jimmy hopes to inspire everyone and anyone to be a little wiser about what’s great about our world: the beauty around us, and everything in it that really worth protecting.

You can learn more about Jimmy on his Instagram or at jimmynails.net

Sharnie Connell, Sydney Marine Campaigner  

Fiona McCuaig AMCS Sydney Marine Park Campaigner

Sharnie Connell has joined us part time as our dedicated Sydney Marine Park Campaigner in a joint role between Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Nature Conservation Council NSW. She joins us to champion our campaign for a Marine Park for Sydney – a beautiful region in which less than 1% of our waters are protected.

Sharnie has a background in Science majoring in Psychology, she is fascinated by animal / human behaviour and interaction and how we can engage people in the protection of the marine environment.

Sharnie is passionate about the ocean and spends much of her time underwater. She is a qualified divemaster and regular long distance ocean swimmer. She brings a wealth of knowledge of experience previously working on the National No Shark Cull campaign. She has a great deal of hands on experience with working directly to rehabilitate sick and injured marine life and educating others about the importance of marine protection at her time at SEALIFE Sanctuary.

GREAT BARRIER REEF

Imogen Zethoven AO, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director (Sydney)

Imogen Zethoven AOBefore 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 our 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 Senior Campaigner (Brisbane)

Lissa Schindler, Community 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 our Great Barrier Reef is still one of her favourite divespots.

Shannon Hurley, Great Barrier Reef Campaigner (Brisbane) 

Shannon Hurley AMCSWhen Shannon’s not in the office you can find her underwater. She loves escaping to the alien planet that’s bustling with life under the waves and capturing its beauty and complexity through photography. Her passion for marine conservation began during her university days.

As an Animal Science student, the marine subjects she studied motivated her to get her scuba license, which set her up to get a job as a dive instructor where she could teach others to see and appreciate the value our oceans provide for enjoyment as well as survival. Shannon then worked with Parks Victoria managing the State’s network of marine national parks and sanctuaries through a range of roles, including ranger, community educator, pest management and planner.

Through her diving experiences Shannon has seen how the marine environment has changed for the worse over time and she wanted to do more to help protected it. Through her role as Great Barrier Reef Campaigner Shannon helps to educate the community and demonstrate the strong public support for the important policy and political commitments our Reef needs to survive. 

David Cazzulino, Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner (Cairns)

David Cazzulino

David was born and raised in Cairns. Growing up visiting the Great Barrier Reef with his family, David knows the unique beauty of our Reef and how much communities depend on healthy corals for their livelihood. David has dual degrees in Arts/Laws from the University of Queensland and has four years of community campaigning experience with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, most recently as the State Coordinator for Queensland.

David has been part of the fight to protect our Reef since 2013 when he first heard about plans to unlock the Galilee basin and industrialise our Reef. He has seen the power of people coming together to stop three mega coal port expansions and secure a ban on capital dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. He is so excited to be working with Cairns locals to fight for our reef and stop Adani’s destructive coal project once and for all. When he’s not campaigning for the future of our Reef, David enjoys exploring local water holes and all things Harry Potter

Follow David on Twitter to see what he's up to in Cairns >>

Sandra Williams, Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner (Airlie Beach)

Sandra Williams Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner

Sandra Williams has lived and worked on our Reef coast for over 40 years. It was the magnificent Whitsunday Coast and islands that stole her heart though and where she chose to settle and raise a family.

An avid sailor, snorkeler and beachcomber Sandra has spent many years exploring our Reef's and islands of North Queensland and has witnessed first hand the enormous degradation of this extraordinary environment.

Sandra has managed bareboat and charter boat companies, dive companies and resort accommodation houses and sits on the board of WLMAC (FYI Gem this is the local advisory committee for GBRMPA).  

Tony Fontes, Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner (Airlie Beach)

Tony Fontes Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner

Tony’s passion for our Great Barrier Reef comes from 35 years as a dive operator in the Whitsunday region of Queensland. That same passion has led him to a variety of roles in Reef protection.

He has sat on numerous committees with our Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), including 9 years as a member of our Great Barrier Reef Consultative Committee and is the current chair of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee.

He is co-founder of the OUCH Volunteers (Order of Underwater Coral Heroes) which has won numerous awards for their reef protection work including the Readers Digest Environmental Award for Australia and the Prime Minister’s Environmental Award. Tony is a governor with Project AWARE, a non-profit environmental organisation that encourages divers to take action and protect the environment.

Tony has watched our Great Barrier Reef slowly degrade over time due a variety of human-induced impacts. Most concerning are the impacts of climate change through coral bleaching and ocean acidification. Tony is keen to help the community work together to make our Great Barrier Reef great again.

Cherry Muddle, Great Barrier Reef Community Campaigner (Airlie Beach - currently on maternity leave)

Cherry Muddle AMCSCherry’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 our 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.

 

COMMUNICATIONS & Fundraising

Ingrid Neilson, Communications and Relationships Manager (Sydney)

Ingrid has a long history witIngrid Neilson, Communications Managerh 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.

Stefanie Kessler, Fundraising Manager Stefanie Kessler, Fundraising Manager

Stef has worked in senior fundraising and management roles for over 14 years with several high-profile charities. She has built fundraising and communications programs for a range of not-for-profits, including Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Indigenous Community Volunteers and Variety, the Children’ Charity.  Stef is currently on the board of Assistance Dogs Australia and is helping their fundraising program grow from strength to strength.

Having grown up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Stef developed a passion for Australia’s stunning oceans and marine life early on.  Stef is keen to put her skills to practise to help preserve our seas for generations to come.

Jacinta McLennan, Fundraising Officer (Brisbane)

Jacinta McLennanA lover of nature and the outdoors, the environment and its conservation have always been Jacinta’s greatest passions. With a marketing degree from Brisbane’s QUT, Jacinta has worked in fundraising at not-for-profits in Australia and south-east Asia for seven years.

Jacinta describes working at AMCS and putting her fundraising skills toward raising the critical funds need to protect our oceans and the animals that call them home as a dream come true.

Anne Hume, Database Coordinator (Sydney)

Anne Hume

Anne believes happy oceans means happy lives for all living things on Earth. Hailing from New Zealand, Anne has a life-long passion for the ocean and everything that lives in it or relies on it to live. After completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Botany and Geography Anne moved to London where she worked in the Natural History Museum for 10 years. From here she moved into IT and worked for several charities before joining Greenpeace’s UK office, where she worked for four years before jumping onto one of their ships. After three months Anne retired her sea legs to join AMCS in Sydney where she is our chief data wrangler, ensuring all fundraising and communications run smoothly.  

OPERATIONS

Kellie Ireland, Operations Manager (Brisbane)

Kellie Ireland AMCS Operations ManagerBorn 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, Finance Officer (North Queensland 

Tina Dalby, AMCS Finance OfficerTina 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.

Julie Labzin, Supporter Coordinator (Brisbane)

julie labzinAll 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

Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Manager Vale 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 20 July 2015, 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 our 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 our Reef campaign she spearheaded the work that has led to a massive increase in protection for our 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.