Dialog Box


Board of Directors 


Madeleine Faught (MSocSc) – Chair, Director

Madeleine is a skilled social scientist and educator with a long history of securing enhanced outcomes in community, cultural, and environmental spheres. She has a professional arts background, has been an environmental campaigner, a community leader and promoter of community cohesion. She works in environmental consulting with a focus on linking social and ecological systems to improve conservation outcomes.

Madeleine has a management history in both institutional and project management within the Education, Environment and Arts sectors. With her partner Dr Robert Kooyman, she has been actively involved in rainforest conservation and native vegetation advocacy for over thirty five years.

Leonie Gale - Director

After a successful career in residential interior design and management of top end interior textile companies, Leonie turned her creative talents to making our world a more beautiful place to live by protecting and conserving the Australian environment.

Recently retired as the CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife after 13 years buying and protecting our bush and wildlife, Leonie is giving her expertise in conservation and environmental philanthropy to aid Rainforest Rescue in protecting our rainforests forever.

“Most of our species live in rainforests and I want to ensure they are protected forever, for us and for future generations.”

Tony Gilding - Director

Tony Gilding is the owner of the Macadamia Castle, a wildlife park and Northern Rivers NSW tourist icon. He is ex-CEO of an ASX-listed gift company, a serial social campaigner and a Palm Oil activist.

Tony is President of Borneo Orangutan Survival, and was founding member of the UN-sponsored Great Ape Survival Project. He brings IT, marketing and finance experience to the board. 

Branden Barber – Secretary, Director, CEO

Branden Barber is a lifelong environmentalist. With a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, he cut his teeth with Greenpeace International on the Rainbow Warrior and MV Greenpeace, and then ran the Victorian State Office for Greenpeace Australia in the 90's.

Over the last 25 years he has worked in both the social profit and for profit sectors, from start-ups to S&P 500 companies to NGO's, large and small. In the last decade, Branden has been involved with various environmental organisations as staff or as a consultant, served on the Leadership Teams at both Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, and has sat on several boards - always with a focus on the environment. He's passionate about rainforests, is ardently committed to the natural world, and brings a wealth and breadth of experience to Rainforest Rescue as our CEO.

Sue Higginson - Public Officer, Director 

Sue is the Principal Solicitor at EDO NSW (formally the Environmental Defender’s Office). EDO NSW is a community legal centre specialising in public interest environment law. Sue is responsible for their strategic litigation and advice program.

She is an expert in assisting communities to use the law to protect the environment and has a particular and keen interest in biodiversity law and working to protect threatened species. Sue has lectured and taught environmental law at a number of universities in NSW. Before becoming a lawyer, Sue worked in the environment movement for a number of years, particularly in forest conservation in north-east NSW.  

Frank Volckmar (BESC & MBA) - Director

Frank started his working career as a consulting engineer and has since spent 20 years in various software sales, development, and marketing roles in Canada, US, UK and Australia.

He is currently the Managing Director of ReadSoft Australia and is responsible for leading and managing the growth of ReadSoft in Oceania. His last adventure included several executive and global roles with Citect in the industrial automation market. He is driven by creating and working with high performance teams, focused on delivering exceptional customer value.

Outside of his corporate responsibilities at ReadSoft, he is enthused by the opportunity to serve on the Rainforest Rescue Board, as he has a long-held commitment to preserving the environment, and is particularly interested in protecting the rainforest around the Daintree.

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