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Meet Our Team

Keith Brodie
Director, Founding Member, Secretary

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LLB, Chartered Accountant, JP

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, Keith was Company Secretary for The News Corporation Limited from 1990 to 2004, then was Group HR Director for News Limited in Australia from 2004 to 2012. He is the former Chairman of Newspoll and the Post Courier in Papua New Guinea.

Keith has been actively involved with sports administration and in 2000 received the Australian Sports Medal, awarded for services to Australian hockey. He was Finance Director of Australian Hockey Association from 1992 to 1996, and Director of Women’s Hockey Australia from 1998 to 2000,

responsible for marketing and finance. He was a member of the Federal Government’s Sports Export Advisory Council from 1997 to 2000, and director of National Rugby League, and Chairman of the NRL on a rotating basis over 10 years until February 2012.

He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the CARE Australia Corporate Council whose objective was to raise funds for CARE Australia from corporate Australia. 

Keith is an avid car enthusiast and has participated in 7 Targa Tasmania rallies and in 2005 drove from Peking to Paris in a 1907 De Dion Bouton, and during the winter survey season Keith can be found co-ordinating our 4WD logistics.

Andrew Harper
Executive Director, Founding Member

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Andrews'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, the most recent being reconnXpedition2012, a 700 km solo journey with five camels.
In 2002, along with Kieran Kelly, he 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. 
In 2015 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to environmental science, research and adventure tourism.
In 2017 Andrew began the second leg of Capricorn Expedition, walking 960kms across the Andes in Chile and Argentina. He intends to continue that journey in 2024.

andrew@desertexpeditions.org 

David E Shelmerdine
Chair

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David has a Graduate Diploma (Hons) in Agriculture from Adelaide University Roseworthy College in South Australia and has been directly involved in the management and strategic direction of a number of privately owned agribusiness companies. He is managing director of Laradoc Pty Ltd, a privately owned agribusiness company with interests in the pastoral, livestock and viticulture sectors. 

He is a founding director and deputy chairman of ClimateWorks Australia, and is Chair of the Melior Australian Impact Fund Advisory Council, an industry advisor on climate change, agricultural supply chains and sustainable development, food and land use systems.

David is Past President of the Geneva based Gold Standard Foundation, a global not for profit organisation that focuses on accelerating progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the 

Sustainable Development Goals. He is a past 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. David assists with logistics during our winter survey operations.

Dr Max Tischler
Director, Chief Scientist

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Max 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 has been working in the Australian arid zone for the past 20 years, on a range of projects focused on the ecology of small mammals, reptiles and birds, and is also involved with a number of Pastoral and Indigenous groups across northern Australia, where he sees the integration of discovery, conservation and production as essential for future land management in semi-arid and arid Australia.

Max has previously worked in tour management roles in the international music industry and as a manager and environmental sustainability consultant for music festivals in Australia. During our winter field work season, he is one of the survey leaders and senior cameleers.

max@desertexpeditions.org 

Kalair McArthur
Liaison Officer

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Growing up in Fiji, Jordan and Botswana, Kalair watched her father work with communities to explore new and innovative agricultural farming practices in line with sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes. 
Holding a Bachelor of Science and Graduate Certificate in Business Management, she has a background in marketing and economic development and has worked for both state and federal agencies with key roles in liaison, communication and business development, and is passionate about finding creative ways to sustain and grow remote businesses and communities. 

Kalair is a previous Executive Officer of Regional Development Australia, Fitzroy and Central West where her role was to facilitate economic opportunities across the region. She now operates her own business supporting projects in rural and remote areas.

She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and previously served on the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network Board, holding the Communications Portfolio. Kalair also served on the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce as well as advising multiple boards on a regular basis regarding project investments and project due diligence.
Kalair is the current Chair of the Qantas Foundation Memorial Ltd (QFM), which is the parent company of the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland.

liaison@desertexpeditions.org