The Orangutan Project Board
Leif Cocks: Position - President
Leif is the founder of The Orangutan Project and has been the President since its inception. He has worked hands on with and for orangutans for more than 25 years including the most successful breeding colony of orangutans in the world, orangutan rescues and the successful reintroduction of numerous orangutans included the first two ever successful zoo-born reintroductions.
In respect to his professional, animal, human and financial management skills, Leif has been the longest standing Australasian Species Management Program Committee Member; a Quarantine-Approved Assessor; Zoo Husbandry Adviser; Zoo Accreditation Officer; UN GRASP in-country point of contact, an International Species Coordinator, International Studbook Keeper and Chair of a World Aquarium and Zoo Association global conservation program.
Current positions include - President: Wildlife Asia, President: International Elephant Project, President: International Tiger Project, Conservation Fund Manager: Silvery Gibbon Project. A small population biologist and curator by trade; Leif has several academic qualifications, including a Masters of Science studying orangutans. He lectures at universities, is a seasoned public speaker, supervises university students and has published several papers on orangutans in peer reviewed journals. Leif is author of the book – Orangutans and their Battle for Survival.
Leif’s years in the field have earned him respect within the conservation field. He has been a key player in developing conservation plans for orangutans and influencing positive change for orangutan protection and survival. This respect has given The Orangutan Project world standing in conservation, and allows Leif to successfully negotiate conservation agreements with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and other government officials. It has also allowed The Orangutan Project to attract major sponsors.
Troy Kenah: Position - Vice President
Troy has been an active member of TOP since 2001 and on the Board since 2004.
Troy’s professional background is based primarily in the world of computing and management of computing services. Over the past 25 years he’s worked in New Zealand, Australia, Germany and the UK with companies such as Mitsubishi, MCI WorldCom, Oz email, the NSW Treasury and Research International. With more than 10 years’ experience in statistical analysis of social and marketing research, he has a very good understanding of markets, people and attitudes.
Kylie Bullo: Position - Board Member
Kylie has been an active member of TOP since 1999 and has held a Board position since 2001. Kylie has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology (with Distinction) and First Class Honours in Primate Behaviour. As the Senior Orangutan Keeper at Perth Zoo for over ten years, Kylie oversees the behavioural, diet, enrichment, health and breeding management of the orangutan colony. Kylie was the keeper in charge of the world’s only two zoo born orangutans to be released into a protected area of Sumatran rainforest. Kylie has extensive knowledge and experience in the care and management of orangutans including husbandry techniques, captive and wild behaviour, ecology and diet, reintroduction and release. Kylie regularly fills in as Primate Supervisor at Perth Zoo where she manages the primate section including animals, staff, rostering and budgeting.
Rebecca Wright: Position - Board Member
Rebecca has extensive experience in international and especially in Asian investment and corporate knowledge, particularly as it relates to non-profit organisations/charities, fundraising from private sector and government donors.
Rebecca also brings high level connections with international/multilateral organisations, such as the UN, UNEP FI, World Bank, and grass roots investors across Asia. In addition Rebecca as high level understanding of international climate change negotiations.
Jess McKelson: Position - Board Member
Jessica McKelson is Founder Director of Raw Wildlife Encounters, co-founder of Earth 4 Orangutans and Supervisor Primates at Melbourne Zoo as well as sitting on the boards of The Orangutan Project and The Orangutan Land Trust (UK). In 2006, she was the youngest Australian to be awarded the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI) Fellowship. Since then, Jessica has worked closely with Indonesian conservation groups and local communities on many projects. The work includes funding for an orangutan baby house at the Sumatra Orangutan Conservation (SOCP) Centre, developing a higher education program that allows rural students to attend university, and a working partnership with Medan STIM SUKMA University that connects students with biodiversity hotspots. She has also developed a number of programs to support the work of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre in Central Kalimantan.
Jessica is currently working alongside her mentor Dr Ian Singleton at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) Centre where she is working with carers on orangutan care, enrichment and enclosure maintenance programs, as well as centre operations, international awareness and fundraising campaigns and media. Jessica is also project managing the development of a vital island sanctuary for rescued orangutans unable to be released back into the wild due to ill health or injury and who require long-term care, the sanctuary will also become a crucial conservation education resource centre for the region.
The Orangutan Project - Conservation Fund Managers
As a non-partisan organisation we support our own projects and work with all other NGOs, so that our funds are always spent in the most effective and efficient ways to help orangutans. We have a panel of Conservation Fund Managers, who are all experts with unique and complimentary expertise.
TOP Founder and President, Zoo Curator, Primate Husbandry Advisor, Zoo Accreditation Officer, Animal Population Biologist, Masters of Science studying orangutans, and over 25 years’ experience working with orangutans
TOP Project Manager, Honours Degree studying primates, Senior Orangutan Keeper – Perth Zoo, extensive experience as Acting Supervisor of Primates - Perth Zoo and over 10 years experience working with orangutans.
President Silvery Gibbon Project, Vice President Asian Rhino Project, Director of Wildlife Asia, World Zoo Association International Species Coordinator, Supervisor of Primates - Perth Zoo and over 8 years experience working with primates.
Professor, School of Archaeology & Anthropology, Australian National University, world’s leading primatologist and author of modern orangutan taxonomy.