AbCF acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work and live and pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging and celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of all Communities. AbCF acknowledges, respects and honours Indigenous peoples vital role in caring for country in the past and stress the importance of this continued practice into the future.
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers please be aware that content on this website may contain images, voices and or names of people who have passed away.

THE AbCF TEAM

ROWAN FOLEY - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

ROWAN FOLEY - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

I am a Ranger by trade, first coming to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park – shortly after hand back in 1989. I later returned with my family, to once again live at Mutitjulu, this time as the Park Manager. Working with the Board and park staff we successfully developed the $21m sunrise area, established the Mala (Hare Wallaby) paddock and introduced the summer seasonal closure of the climb.

In between time at the rock, I worked for the Kimberley Land Council in 1995 as their first Land Management Officer where I negotiated the first Indigenous Protected Area at Paruku (Lake Gregory) in WA and with a National Heritage Trust Co-ordinator established their Land and Sea Management Unit. As the CFI was being developed in 2010-11, I worked with a dedicated team of people to ensure Indigenous interests were acknowledged and supported through the establishment of the $22m Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund, a co-benefits report and Indigenous Negotiation Roundtables with the Australian Government.

I come from the Wondunna clan of the Badtjala people, Traditional Owners of Fraser Island (K’gari) in Queensland. I live in Alice Springs.

SHILO VILLAFLOR - REGIONAL MANAGER

SHILO VILLAFLOR - REGIONAL MANAGER

I am a proud Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander woman. My great Grandmother was a descendant of the Wagiman Peoples (NT). I have historical & traditional ties to the Torres Strait & Cape York Peninsula. My Mother’s side of the family are of Welsh descent.

For 20 plus years I worked in Native Title throughout Cape York I have been committed to real change, ownership and empowerment in Indigenous Communities all over Australia. I established close working relationships while walking and working with many amazing Traditional Owners whilst working in Cape York, many who became family because of relationships built and trust earned.

I was approached by AbCF in 2019 to join the team, and when I looked at the business model for AbCF, for me it was very exciting to finally see a way for Indigenous communities to have real empowerment and ownership that is generational. By implementing a carbon project, community aspirations could be achieved and owned even in the most remote communities. It was exciting to see such a clear way forward.

The work AbCF does with Traditional Owners, pastoralists etc is something that I still get excited about all these years later, as I have been able to witness community aspirations realised in communities with Carbon Projects.

Changing the deficit model to a strength based one is a much-needed change in how Communities are viewed, and I am honoured to being a part of that change. I am passionate and continue to push and advocate for recognition of age-old cultural practises and the importance of those practices. I advocate for correct community consultation, as I have seen so many terrible examples of it and I want to be a part of the change. Pushing back on the western frameworks being the model that is the only true and correct way of doing things and the importance of cultural practices and knowledge being not an afterthought, is something I remain committed to.

With climate change becoming more and more evident, taking care of country is everyone’s responsibility, I am honoured to be working with Traditional Owners all over Australia practising age old practices to care for country and keep culture strong and thriving.

LISA MCMURRAY - LEARNING & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

LISA MCMURRAY - LEARNING & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

I am an experienced consultant and international development specialist, with extensive experience in non-government (NGO) health, overseas aid and Australian Indigenous community development initiatives.

My skills-set and experience are in the areas of research, facilitation, program design, monitoring, evaluation and learning (DMEL) and stakeholder and partnership management. I’m passionate about program effectiveness best-practice, that genuinely puts decision-making in the hands of people that it impacts the most.

I first came into contact with Aboriginal Carbon Foundation in 2014, whilst facilitating a meeting of Aboriginal organisations at Ross River, outside Alice Springs. At the time I was in a DMEL role at Caritas Australia. In 2016 we began to work on the Core Benefit Standard, and I came on board with AbCF in early 2018, to dedicate my time to the implementation and continued learning and improvement around this unique and exciting peer to peer verification approach.

MAHALA STROHFELDT – COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

MAHALA STROHFELDT – COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

I am a proud Goreng Goreng woman with strong connections to both my Aboriginal and Malay heritage – the Appo and Wone families, born and raised on Mamu country in Innisfail.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree from James Cook University in 1999 and have enjoyed a long career in media, much of which has been reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and events.

As a media and communications specialist for national Indigenous organisations, I have found professional satisfaction in working on national campaigns that that give First Nations people a voice and work towards empowerment, social justice, and reform in Indigenous affairs.

With over two decades of work within the Indigenous political and communications space, I have been fortunate to be invited into loungerooms and campfires of first nations people around the country, sitting down with community, recording stories of hope, survival and determination.

As the newest member of the AbCF, I continue this journey of uplifting and promoting the voices of First Nations peoples in the Aboriginal Carbon space, empowering Traditional Owners and Elders in Cape York and remote communities across the country to tell their stories of taking care of country using culture and innovation.

SEAN APPOO - PROJECT MANAGER

SEAN APPOO - PROJECT MANAGER

I am a proud Murri Man descended from the Kabi Kabi and Birra Gubba Nations, with a bit of Danish and Sri Lankan thrown in. I was born and grew up on Goreng Goreng Country where I was shown a great life amongst my family and peers.

I have worked in construction, mining, agriculture, retail, hospitality, health, corporate, government, and community sectors. For the past 20 years I have worked almost exclusively in the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector in health, consultancy and business development roles.

Through all this life experience and study in health, management, and business development I’ve developed strong skills in community engagement, business development, research, and program design/implementation/evaluation. I am passionate about social justice; Indigenous knowledge and excellence; and business development with our Mob, by our Mob.

EXPERT ADVICE

EXPERT ADVICE

The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation also draws on other qualified experts as required, to meet industry standards and add value to our work. For clients needing financial advice about selling their carbon credits, we use Australian Carbon Traders Pty Ltd AFSL 425512. Please note anyone providing financial advice about carbon credits, such as what the price might be or dealing in carbon units, must have an Australian Financial Services License with appropriate authorisations.

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