Australian Desert Expeditions (ADE) was founded in 2007 by five individuals who could see the substantial benefits of using packcamels to survey remote desert areas.


ADE is governed by a four person Board and the yearly survey programs are devised by the Survey Program Co-ordinators with input from the Research Advisory Panel.


You can read about our Vision here.


Australian Desert Expeditions Foundation Members

• Keith Brodie

• Les Fallick

• James Harker-Mortlock

• Andrew Harper

• Kieran Kelly


Company Secretary

• Keith Brodie


Our Board

• James Harker-Mortlock

• Andrew Harper - Managing Director

• David Shelmerdine

• Dr Max Tischler




















































James Harker-Mortlock

James has a track record in starting and running a successful business in the publishing, information and Internet fields over the last 31 years. He has developed widespread contacts at a senior level with major information and media companies globally and with government agencies producing information. He has experience in content aggregation as well as website design and electronic information product development over many years. In 2006 he purchased a superfine merino wool and fat lamb production enterprise at Yass near Canberra. His community involvement includes support for intervention in East Timor over twenty years and as secretary of the Australia-Solomon Islands Friendship Association.

He is a supporter of a number of charities and is involved actively in politics at the national level.

Andrew Harper

Andrew's background is in the pastoral industry, working for over 25 years in the stud merino industry in the NSW Riverina and western Queensland, as an overseer, professional woolclasser and contract stockman. He has worked as a photojournalist in Central and Southern Africa and in 1999 completed 'Capricorn Expedition', a solo 3800km walk across Australia raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and charities in his home town of Deniliquin. Since 2000 he has owned and operated the Outback Camel Company, a desert camel trekking business based in Central Australia.


He has completed twelve crossings of the Simpson Desert in various directions and in 2002 took part in the 'Central Australian Expedition' which connected the 19th Century routes of explorers Augustus Gregory and John Stuart in the Tanami desert of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and actively supports and encourages the preservation of Australia's desert exploration history, Afghan cameleer heritage and the ecological surveying and exploring of remote desert regions. His most recent solo expedition was reconnXpedition, a 700 km journey across the Simpson Desert in 2012.


On Australia Day 2015 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to environmental science and research, and adventure tourism.

David E Shelmerdine

Mr Shelmerdine was until November 2010, Deputy Chairman of The Myer Family Company Holdings Pty Ltd, a member of its investment committee, remuneration and nominations committee and Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee.

In addition, David is a founding director of ClimateWorks Australia, and is Convenor of the Sustainability and the Environment Funding Program for the Sidney Myer Fund and The Myer Foundation. He has been involved in several significant philanthropic initiatives with the Foundation and the Fund over the past ten years.


He is managing director of Laradoc Pty Ltd, a privately owned agribusiness company with interests in the pastoral, livestock and viticulture sectors. David has a Graduate Diploma in Agriculture from Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia and has been directly involved in the management and strategic direction of a number of privately owned agribusiness companies and is currently a member of Agrium’s Landmark advisory council.



Dr Max Tischler

Max has been working in the Australian arid zone for the past 15 years, on a range of projects focused on the ecology of small mammals, reptiles and birds. He completed his PhD on bird communities in the Simpson Desert through the Desert Ecology Group at the University of Sydney and has worked as Regional Ecologist for Bush Heritage Australia’s Gulf to Lake Eyre anchor region. He is also involved with a number of Pastoral and Indigenous groups across northern Australia, and sees the integration of discovery, conservation and production as essential for future land management in semi-arid and arid Australia.



Australian Desert Expeditions is an Australian registered charity with tax-deductable status.

A donation to the Australian Desert Expeditions Public Fund goes directly to the scientific & ecological research of Australia's Deserts.



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