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About the ARF


The Australian Rainforest Foundation is a non-profit organisations that was registered with the Australian government in 1996 as an Australian Company Limited by Guarantee. It has a Board of Directors responsible for the governance of the organisation.

It is registered with the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission. and also with the Australian Government as a Deductible Gift Recipient. For Australians, all donations over $2 are tax-deductible and they are deposited into the Australian Rainforest Fund, which is overseen by the Australian Rainforest Fund Management Committee. The members of the Management Committee are Mr. Tony Gellert, Dr. Paul Salaman and Mr. Kelvin Davies.

David Butler (Chairman)

With hands-on agricultural experience and a passion for managing wildlife reserves, David has a strong background in raising and managing funds for conservation and land management activities.

He has worked on projects as diverse as outdoor education, cut-flower and tropical fruit export, the World Wilderness Congress, documentary production and interpretive tourism.

Through his family trust, he helped establish the Raine Island Corporation and was a trustee of the Quinkan Reserves, 40sq. km of country on Cape York that is home to some of the most significant Aboriginal rock-art in Australia. Stewardship of the rock art galleries has been handed over to the Agnara people of Cape York. David has also been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for service to the community.

David is Chairman of Australian Rainforest Foundation and is passionate about achieving tangible, practical outcomes for enduring ecological sustainability.


Anthony Peter Gellert

Tony has brought a lifetime of commercial financial experience to the Australian Rainforest Foundation, having spent the past 20 years in roles which have included auditing, financial control, private equity, strategic management and investment banking.

With qualifications in commerce, accounting and business systems, Tony has worked for companies as diverse as Elders and PwC as well as acting as a consultant and adviser for activities as diverse as start-up and capital raising, succession planning, trade sales, strategy, CEO mentoring, acquisition and valuation.

His passion is using his commercial acumen to help make rainforest conservation projects economically viable and financially sustainable.


Kelvin Davies (CEO)

Kelvin has been active in the conservation movement for nearly 30 years, he was the CEO and Founding Director of Rainforest Rescue for 15 years, co-founded the Big Scrub Rainforest Day and developed significant buy-back projects throughout the Daintree.

Kelvin is highly regarded in the conservation sector for his innovative and engaging fundraising programs and for his genuine passion and commitment to global rainforest conservation.


Dr. Paul Salaman

A wildlife enthusiast since grade school, Paul has spent his career dedicated to furthering tropical conservation.

As an undergraduate, Paul led a series of research expeditions across Colombia. These three years in the field culminated in the creation of a new national park and four nature reserves.

He has described four bird species that were new to science, including the Chocó Vireo-which he discovered at the age of 19. In 1998, Paul was a co-founder of Colombia's Fundación ProAves, which has become one of the most effective conservation organizations in South America.

After graduating with a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2001, he accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at The Natural History Museum and was also the Biodiversity Science Coordinator in the Andes for Conservation International. Paul is a member of the Amphibian Survival Alliance's Global Council.


Malissa Cadwallader

With a masters degree in international affairs from the University of California, San Diego, Malissa specializes in non-profit management and international development, particularly focused in Latin America. In 2009, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, where she helped to develop a women's economic cooperative while simultaneously initiating a program with a group of at-risk youth to improve the local community by reducing gang violence and improving nutrition and sanitation. Subsequently, she worked with Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which offers care and support for chimpanzees retired from laboratory research in a natural forest habitat.

Malissa has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and literature with minors in math, social responsibility and women's studies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, theatre, and ice hockey.


John D. Mitchell

John is an Adjunct Scientist at the New York Botanical Garden and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of Natural History. He is the former Executive Secretary and Chairman of the Beneficia Foundation and now serves on the Board of Directors of Bat Conservation International and Turtle Survival Alliance. John belongs to a wide variety of scientific and environmental organizations and has special interests in conservation and birding, having pursued these activities worldwide from the Antarctic and Africa to Borneo and South America. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a member of the Explorers Club.

He has a B.S. in biology from Muhlenberg College and pursued Ph.D. studies in ecology at Rutgers University. He has authored and co-authored many scientific papers, publications, and books dealing with tropical vegetation, tropical tree identification, and the taxonomy of the Cashew - Poison Ivy family.

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