TCA Project Management & field staff
Jim Thomas - Chief Executive Officer
Jim is a zoologist and a conservationist who is devoted to saving the Tree Kangaroos of the Torricelli Mountain Range. Jim worked with mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians for over 9 years at Zoos Victoria. He has worked with many endangered species within Australia such as the Helmeted Honeyeater, Orange-bellied Parrot, Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Leadbeater's Possum and Eastern Barred Bandicoot. Jim Thomas has been the Project Manager and Director for the Tenkile Conservation Alliance since 2003 and he oversees all of TCA's work as well as applying for grants. Jim has successfully secured over $US4 million in funding and has built a reputation for TCA as one of the best conservation based organisations in PNG. He is an excellent public speaker with various skills in grant writing, strategic planning, report writing, financial acquittals are all second nature to him. He also conducts scientific research, manages operations and capacity building of TCA staff.
Jim is a passionate and concerned conservationist with a strong work ethic who is determined and motivated to succeed in protecting endangered species and their habitats. An independent self-motivated person, culturally sensitive and internationally travelled. Jim is fluent in Pidgin English or Tok Pisin and experienced in Papua New Guinea culture. He has excellent common sense and decision making ability. Having a gregarious nature and working well either within a team environment, solo or in a capacity of teaching or leadership are all qualities that enable him to excel as the Director of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Jim is a La Trobe University Distinguished Alumni Award winner (2012), Deakin University adjunct fellow and was rated highly commended for the Peter Rawlinson Conservation Hero Award in 2013. He was awarded the Australian Geographic Conservationist of the year award in 2013 with his wife Jean.
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Jean Thomas - Chief Operating Officer
Jean began her career with animals by breeding laboratory mice for medical research and then moved into the zoo industry working with native fauna at both Healesville Sanctuary and Melbourne Zoo. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Diploma of Education and over the years has also worked with other endangered species such as the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and New Holland Mouse. Jean spent her honey moon with Jim banding Orange-bellied Parrots in the wilds of Tasmania and after a year of teaching in a high school she now works with her husband managing the Tenkile Conservation Alliance. Jean's role with TCA is very broad including the development and implementation of most of TCA’s training programs, staff professional and personal development, administration, accounting, operations, PR and social media updates.
Jean is a hard-working, goal orientated person who is self-motivated and energized when given a task. An influential speaker who is culturally sensitive and internationally travelled. Fluent in Pidgin English and experienced in Papua New Guinea culture. She has an ability to transform complicated text and higher thinking concepts into a simple format that has been a key strength in her teaching capabilities. Jean has been responsible for the capacity building of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance, designed, produced and conducted various training programs including village drama, teacher training, natural resources management, project management, health (water / sanitation / hygiene / nutrition / HIV / family planning) and livestock husbandry. This has lead to community engagement and mobilization among 50 villages and the protection of 200,000 hectares of rainforest. Consequently Jean was awarded the Future for Nature Award in 2010, The Age Magazine top 100 most influential and interesting people in 2010, Australian Geographic Conservationist of the year in 2013 and Telstra Business Women Award for Social and Purpose Enterprise in Victoria 2015.
To request a presentation at your school, conference or workplace click here.
Patrick Ikon - Operations Manager
Patrick has been working with TCA since 2005 and has played various roles. He is a senior staff member and coordinates many of TCA’s programs.
"I like to work with TCA to strengthen this conservation program for the benefit of our future generations."
Patrick is currently participating in a Management training course during 2016.
Mathew Akon - Public Relations Manager
Mathew has been with TCA since the beginning.
In 2010 Mathew was awarded the Whitley Fund for Nature Award.
"I’ve been with TCA a long time.I love working with TCA and I love conservation, biodiversity and ecosystems. I love protecting the rainforest and will protect it for future generations."
Samuel Kabau – Project Officer Level 3
Samual is a senior project officer and research officer and has worked with TCA since 2003. Samual represented TCA at the Australian mammal society conference in 2014.
"The most significant change I have seen in the 12 years working with TCA has been in attitudes and behaviour of the local stakeholders. For example less hunting which is a massive change in behaviour. We are also working together much better as a whole community. Which is much better than before. This makes me feel proud and happy working with my own local people, by conserving our own resources for the betterment of our upcoming generation. Thank you."
James Oso – Project Officer Level 3
James has been involved with TCA in many roles including project officer and research officer since 2003.
"My name is James Oso. I am from Fatima and I like working with TCA in doing conservation."
Clancy Sumei – Project Officer Level 3
Clancy has worked with TCA as a project officer, research officer and is now a facilitator.
"I love working with TCA and I love doing research up in the Torricelli Mountain Range of PNG."
Matthew Rafa – Project Officer Level 3
Matthew has been with TCA since 2011. He is from East Sepik Province.
"I like working with TCA because I learn computing and the internet. I now have access to clean and fresh water from the tanks we have received. I am proud of different unique species of plants and animals in the Torricelli Mountain Range. TCA is very concerned about climate change and its effects in PNG."
Alison Kufa - Project Officer Level 2
Alison has been a part of TCA since its’ inception. A strong lady with a keen sense of commitment, she is an important member of our team.
"I worked with the TCA as a village representative from 2004 - 2007. Since 2008 I have been a local Project Officer. I really love the program because in no other part of the world can you find the Tenkile and Weimang Tree Kangaroos."
Nobert Maisul – Project Officer Level 2
Norbert is from Nunsi village and has been a part of TCA since 2007.
"I feel very proud of working with TCA as a Project Officer - conserving plants and animals for my children and my grandchildren. I have learnt a lot to conserve our environment and natural resources."
Caleb Bulu – Project Officer Level 2
Caleb has been involved with TCA since his village became a stakeholder in 2007.
"Well, my name is Caleb Bulu and I am from Asier village near Sibilanga, Nuku District - Sandaun Province. I have been working with TCA since 2009. My community have seen some of the development - especially water tanks. This is a significant achievement and I am very proud to be working with TCA."
Ricky Waram – Project Officer Level 2
Ricky joined TCA in 2007 when his village became a stakeholder of TCA.
"I come from Marakumba village - near Sibilanga. I work as a Project Officer for TCA. I love to work with conservation. I love to work with conservation to gain more experience about research. I am also very happy to assist Jim and Jean and TCA to deliver the projects to the resource owners in the 50 moratorium villages."
Mathilda Yaume – Project Officer Level 2
Mathilda has been with TCA since 2003 and is from Wuguble village.
"I love to work with TCA to gain more confidence and also learn more of my capabilities and management skills."
Irene Sobin – Project Officer Level 2
Irene is from Yomoum village and has been part of TCA since 2003.
"I work with TCA as a Facilitator since 2007. I love to work with TCA so very much because I am interested in computers, health and hygiene. I have learnt a lot about Rainforests, Biodiversity and HIV/AIDS."
Paula Faru – Project Officer Level 2
Paula is from Weigint village and joined TCA in 2007.
"I enjoy working with TCA for a long time. I love to promote the environment and to change the livelihoods of people in communities."
Fidelis Nick – Project Officer Level 2
Fidelis is from Muku village and has been working for TCA since 2010.
"I love working with TCA because I am really interested in conservation work - conserving our rainforest and biodiversity because they are the world’s lungs."
Jerry Sobin – Project Officer Level 2
Jerry is from Yomoum village and has been with TCA since 2003.
"I work with TCA to save my environment in the Torricelli Mountain Range - PNG. I am proud of the animals we have here such as Tenkile. Conservation is the way to save all the environment and animals for my children."
Nelson Taingol – Project Officer Level 2
Nelson is from Wilbeite village and has played various roles over the years. Nelson is a talented song writer and musician.
"What is always in my mind is to have a happy, safe and healthy communities with good water and sanitation, good roads and infrastructure for the area. I believe in conserving the biodiversity for future generations and to strengthen the Wape culture and traditions."
Leo Aniris – Project Officer Level 2
Leo has been with TCA since 2007 and working as a Facilitator since 2009. Leo is from Yapunda village.
"I am working now with TCA and I really like it because I like to conserve my environment."
Francis Elpiti – Caretaker (Lumi)
Francis is from Maui village and has been employed with TCA since 2002 and is responsible for maintaining the animals at TCA Base-Lumi. He has previously been responsible for the breeding of 500 rabbits and now looks after TCA’s tree kangaroos, wallabies, cuscus, sugar gliders, fruit bat and birds.
Andrew Waisi – Caretaker (Lumi)
Andrew is from Maui village and has been employed with TCA since 2009 and is responsible for maintaining the gardens at TCA Base-Lumi. He occasionally helps with looking after the animals and security also.
Hilary Oiye – Security (Lumi)
Hilary is from Maui village and has been working for TCA since 2005 and is our longest serving security guard. Hilary helps maintain the status quo at TCA Base-Lumi and has helped raise our security dogs "Cling and Clang" and "Cuff and Link".
John Wowi – Carpenter
John is from Maui village and has been our leading carpenter working with TCA on a full and part time basis since late 2003. John has taken a leading role with developing all of the infrastructure at TCA Base-Lumi. Occasionally John also works security.
Leonard Towaiyu – Plumber/Carpenter
Leonard is from Maui village and has been working with TCA full and part time since late 2003. Leonard has been responsible for leading TCA’s water and sanitation training programs and developing the septic tank infrastructure at the TCA Base in Lumi.
Edward Saire – Carpenter
Edward is from Maui village and has been working with TCA full and part time since late 2003. Edward has been an important assistant to both John and Leonard responsible for developing all of TCA's infrastructure at the TCA Base Lumi. We always know when Edward is working because he has a fantastic signature hammer knock!
John Sumei – Painter
John is community leader from Maui village and has been working with TCA full and part time since late 2005. John has been an important assistant to both John and Leonard and fully responsible for painting all of TCA's infrastructure at the TCA Base Lumi.
TCA also employs:
2 Livestock trainers
8 HIV/AIDS awareness trainers
10 Research Officers
72 Distance Sampling Officers
And various carriers, cooks and assistants on a casual basis when required.
Most staff are employed on a casual basis depending on the grant funds that are available however most grants exclude funds for wages – to help employ one of our staff make a donation here.