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Board of Directors

Dr.Karen Coombes
Director and Chair
founder of Tree Roo Rescue
PhD in Biology and Ecology of Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroos

Karen studied first to be a registered Veterinary Nurse in 1980, moved to Darwin in 1983. Went back to University to study for a science Degree through UQ at NT University in 1988. She started work at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT in 1989, and worked there for 10 years. Karen went on to get first class Honours at the NT University (now called Charles Darwin Uni). Karen was promoted and became the first Collections Manager for Natural Sciences at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT. Karen and Neil moved to Malanda in 1998. Karen then enrolled at JCU Cairns to study her PhD on Lumholtz tree kangaroos in 2000 -2005. She has been a wildlife carer since 1990 and has been rescuing and caring for Lumholtz tree kangaroos since 1999. Karen is currently the World expert on LTK ecology, rescue and rehabilitation.

Karen has been a finalist for Qld Pride of Australia in 2013, nominated for Australia Citizen of the Year at Atherton in 2015.

Terry Carmichael

Terry was in the second year of graduates from Queensland’s first natural resource management course at Queensland University, Gatton Campus in the early 1980’s.

Terry has used his skills and knowledge in ecology to work as a zoo curator, wildlife manager, TAFE guide instructor, wildlife consultant and now at Wet Tropics Management Authority, as a science communicator.

Terry is passionate about presenting natural history information to a wide range of audiences. His time spent in the zoo industry, 34 years, exposed him to the tourism industry where presentations and guided tours are the cornerstone of that industry. The dissemination of current, relevant and accurate information has been the motivating factor in Terry’s career. This and his experience makes him an asset as a Director for Tree Roo Rescue. 

Neil McLaughlan
co-founder of Tree Roo Rescue

Neil is Karen's husband and has also been involved with Tree kangaroos for the past 18 years after moving from Darwin in 1998.

Neil is the one that is in charge of building all of the facilities, including their home and shed. He has since had to build not only enclosures but the main rescue centre.

Neil has also been heavily involved in wildlife rescue and care since 1990. Neil also endures living with tree kangaroos in the house and is the most experienced at catching tree kangaroos with a net on the run.

Alison Eaton
Director and Company Secretary

Alison Eaton moved to Far North Queensland some years ago after five years on the Gold Coast working at Dreamworld.

Her deep connection to the Australian tropical rainforests and its animals drew her northward and through her employment as Project Manager for well-known local business woman Christine Doan, has had a hand in obtaining well over $100,000 in grants for local revegetation projects in the Malanda area. Alison has also been involved in many other organisations such as the Tolga Bat Hospital, TREAT and the Malanda Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.

Alison brings passion, experience, ability to communicate and work with other organisations and expertise with grant applications to her role as Secretary and Director with Tree Roo Rescue.

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