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The Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Australia Advisory Board is a group of visionary, influential, business and philanthropic leaders who act as ambassadors and advisors and are pivotal to FFI's operations in Australia.
Kevin is the Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch International (Australia) and has over 30 years experience in investment banking. Kevin is a keen surfer and is heavily involved in the revegetation of land in and around Byron Bay.
Rachel spent 10 years in the private sector, marketing and communicating some of the world's biggest brands both in the UK and Australia – from BMW to Amex, Pepsico and the Department of Environment and Climate Change. As her interest in, and passion for, the environment grew she moved in to marketing/sustainability consulting before joining FFI Australia, just as it was formally established, at the end of 2008. From 2008 to 2010 Rachel lead its development, including the establishment of a high-profile ambassadorial board and the negotiation of corporate philanthropic relationships with such organisations as Qantas, Goldman Sachs and National Australia Bank. She has travelled to FFI's activity in Belize, Cambodia and Nicaragua which has been a profound source of inspiration and motivation for her. Since leaving her full time position with FFI, Rachel was delighted to join the FFI Australia Advisory Board. Rachel is now Managing Director of Blue Marine Foundation - one of FFI's partners. She also continues to consult to both the private and philanthropic sectors, mentors and volunteers.
Professor Silviu Itescu is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Mesoblast Limited, an Australian biotechnology company developing novel adult stem cell treatments for a broad range of diseases that impact on survival and quality of life. Silviu has established an outstanding international reputation in the fields of stem cell biology, autoimmune diseases, organ transplantation and heart failure with experience ranging from laboratory research to new drug development and clinical evaluation. While Professor of Medicine at Columbia University in New York, he pioneered the use of adult stem cells for the treatment of heart disease and was an advisor on cell therapy to both the United States President's Council on Bioethics and the United States Food and Drug Administration Biological Response Modifiers Advisory Committee. Professor Itescu joined FFI Australia's Advisory Board in June 2010 and has a particular interest in the importance of biodiversity within medical advancement.
Mark was appointed Finance Director of NAB in March 2009. Prior to joining NAB, Mark was Chief Financial Officer for Citigroup's Global Wealth Management business based in New York prior to which he worked at Boston Consulting Group for 16 years. Mark supports a range of initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable future, including actively representing NAB on the environmental change debate.
James is Chairman and Chief Executive of Hungerford Hill Wines, a wine producer based in the Hunter Valley built on a belief in sustainable export that leverages Australia's comparative advantage in viticulture. James' other involvements include Dadanco Pty Ltd, a start-up developer of high efficiency air conditioning solutions based in Adelaide and Family Business Australia, a national organisation which provides education and support to family owned businesses. James has a clear understanding of the need for sustainable land management and was interested in joining FFI as it combines social and commercial development with environmental protection.
Alastair is Chairman of Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs Australia. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Alastair was at Macquarie Bank for 23 years, where he worked in various capacities - culminating as head of Macquarie's Corporate Finance Group and then Chairman, Investment Banking. Alastair is Chairman of Cell Care Australia, a cord blood bank, Chairman of the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health and a member of the Dean's Advisory Board for Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. He is also a Director of Research Australia and is a member of the Federal Government's Takeovers Panel. Alastair's work with the Burnet Institute gave him a clear understanding of the links between poverty, illness and the environment which led to his decision to join FFI. He has also travelled extensively, specifically in Africa, which crystallised his interest in the particular environmental and social within the region ultimately leading to his support for FFI's Northern White Rhino project.
Liz Ann is the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. After ten years in the role, Liz Ann secured funding for a $53 million building project to expand the Museum and include a National Centre for Creative Learning. Liz Ann's contribution to the Arts has been recognised with prestigious awards including the 2003 Centenary Medal for services to contemporary art, the 2007 Equity Trustees CEO award for Significant Innovation, 2008 Veuve Clicquot Award and the 2008 Australian Business Arts Foundation Dame Elisabeth Murdoch award and the 2011 Australia Council Visual Arts Medal. Her personal interest in conservation began as an avid scuba diver keen to promote the preservation of the marine environment and in particular the grey nurse shark. Liz Ann travelled to Banda Aceh in January 2010, diving and trekking into the rainforest to further understand our work there.
Liz Ann was recently recognised for her career contribution to the visual arts by being named the recipient of an award as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). Ms Macgregor's award will be officially presented in London later this year. The award acknowledges the significant impact that Ms Macgregor's vision and leadership has had on the visual arts, both during her twenty year career in Britain and since her subsequent move to Australia in 1999.
Tasma Walton is an award-winning actress, recently published novelist and screenwriter. She sits on the Advisory Board for FFI Australia and has visited FFI projects in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Sumatra, Cambodia and Brazil.
Oliver worked in the Macquarie Group for 22 years and recently established his own investment business - Bronze Boar Investments - to assist companies in the clean energy and sustainability sector build their businesses. He is a board director of Climate Friendly™ a founding member of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA). ICROA is an organisation dedicated to positive, meaningful and real action to address the global greenhouse problem. Oliver was part of the steering committee for the Macquarie/FFI BioCarbon Taskforce which is a team established to bring revenue from the carbon markets to conservation through REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) project. Oliver believes that for conservation to be sustainable, it needs to be self funding.