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Our Team

Our team are passionate about protecting New Zealand’s coastal and marine environment. Our members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and share a common goal; to engage and work with local communities, groups and governing agencies to take an active role in protecting the coastal and marine environment. Meet a few of our leadership and core team members below:

coordination team

Lesl van der Voorn

Lesl has a background in communications and marketing. She is passionate about driving positive change for marine conservation through meaningful conversation and action, and endeavours to improve and enhance our future environmental ecosystems. Lesl enjoys wandering the coast, and exploring native bush. 

Role: Communications Coordinator


Janice Huang

Janice is passionate about wildlife conservation and sustainability, and currently works in the eco-tourism industry. She has a degree in Zoology and Marine Science from Otago University, and believes that we are instinctively equipped with the ability to care for nature, and the best way to practice this ability is to spend more time in nature. Janice enjoys tramping and the great outdoors in her spare time. 

Role: Social Media Coordinator


Gemma Coutts

Gemma is studying her Masters in Environmental Management, with a focus on the social sciences. She is incredibly passionate about protecting our natural environment, while also ensuring we acknowledge and respect the Treaty of Waitangi and work alongside our treaty partners. In her free time Gemma enjoys painting and exploring the many walks in the South Island.

Role: Policy Coordinator


Project Team

Megan Exton

Megan is studying zoology at the University of Otago and previously worked as an environment lawyer in Tauranga. She is fascinated by marine life and is keen to do her part to protect our oceans. In her free time, she loves exploring nature, volunteering and practicing yoga.

Role: Policy Advisor

Megan exton

Michelle villamin

Tanzanian born, Kenyan raised, Australian diplomas and Filipino roots – Michelle has a mixed background that has fuelled her ever-growing curiosity and interest in environmental conservation and wildlife protection. She’s most at peace in the underwater world. With a professional background in marketing and advertising, she is keen on encouraging a cleaner and more sustainable way of living through storytelling and spreading awareness.

Role: Project & Comms Support


Emily Colquhoun

Emily is a current master’s student in science communication at the University of Otago. She is passionate about small critters that often get forgotten about and is trying to work out how to bring them into the spotlight. In her spare time, Emily enjoys playing underwater hockey and exploring all the wildlife Dunedin has to offer.

Role: Social Media Admin


Athena Rhodes

Athena is a wildlife photographer and writer. She can be found hiding in bushes or up a tree with the birds and her trusty camera. When she is not lying in bird poop, trying to get that perfect photo of a swan, she can be found inhaling coffee or reading up on New Zealand flora and fauna. She is deeply passionate about wildlife and conservation and loves to volunteer for these causes.

Role: Social Media Admin


Chris Chick

Chris is wants to see this world become as great and wonderful as we know it can be. He believes life is a gift, and one we should be honouring not only for ourselves, but for others and sentinel beings alike that get to call Earth ‘home’. Chris has a background in Psychology and Ecology and is based in Waimakariri.

Role: Social Media Admin


join our amazing team


Leadership Roles – Is this you?

As part of the OSOF core team, you will be responsible for leading and coordinating environmental education and conservation events, projects, and managing volunteers within your region.You will have a tertiary qualification/s in environmental management or science, with a knowledge of New Zealand environmental conservation issues and environment.

View the volunteer role descriptions.

Support Roles – Is this you?

As part of the OSOF support team, you will be helping our core members in various support roles based on your relevant experience. You will have a tertiary qualification/s or industry experience, with a knowledge of New Zealand environmental conservation issues and environment.

View the volunteer role descriptions.