Skip navigation

Management committee

Management committee

President- Jonathon Dykyj
President
Jonathon Dykyj
Jonathon “Jono” Dykyj has been a committed environmentalist and activist in the region for more than fifteen years. This is his first year as MCG president after serving on the committee as vice-president for the last two years.
Vice President- Grant Howard
Vice President
Grant Howard
Grant is a retired supervisor who worked in the coal and resource industry in the Mackay region. He joined Mackay Conservation Group in 2019 after recognising the global failure by leaders and politicians to abate carbon emissions. His interests and hobbies include a just transition for people working in fossil fuel industries, bush regeneration and the rewilding of local Mackay landscapes. Grant understands the value of natural landscapes to the Australian identity and wants future generations to enjoy them.
Secretary- Jessica Gardiner
Secretary
Jessica Gardiner
Jessica is a Medical Pathology Scientist who works in hospitals across Queensland. She has been involved with Mackay Conservation Group since 2018 when she was working at the Mackay Base Hospital. She also has experience volunteering with other environmental groups in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. She enjoys travelling throughout Australia to see the unique flora and fauna in each new place. She is committed to the environment movement as she is concerned about the damaging effects of climate change; both on the environment, and the people that survive off the tourism and land that are most heavily impacted. Jessica has a focus on helping protect the Whitsundays and Mackay regions as this is where the Great Barrier Reef is most under pressure, and she believes we must do whatever we can to help the reef survive. 
Treasurer- Kevin Healy
Treasurer
Kevin Healy
Kevin first became involved in environmental issues while at university studying for a Bachelor of Business degree. They campaigned to stop the use of ozone-depleting CFC’s in aerosols. After 40 years as a management accountant/business manager, he realised that he needed to reengage with the efforts to save our environment from looming disaster as our elected officials have abdicated their responsibility for protecting the environment. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening and attempting to improve his golf.
Committee Member- Michael Williams
Committee Member
Michael Williams
Michael is a consultant Paediatrician who worked for 39 years in Mackay, in private practice and as Director of Child & Adolescent Health Mackay Base Hospital. Now he is a paediatrician for Queensland Paediatric Telehealth Service – providing paediatric consultation to rural sites in Queensland. He enjoys travel to rural sites in Australia as well as running, swimming and bike riding. He loves the natural environment and is concerned we have lost too much and are continuing to lose healthy ecosystems. He is also concerned about climate change – its environmental, social and health impacts. 
Committee Member- Mary Anne Baillie
Committee Member
Mary Anne Baillie
Committee Member- Tony Fontes
Committee Member
Tony Fontes
Tony is an accredited Dive Instructor and before retiring spent 40 years as a dive operator based in the Whitsundays. Much of that time spent training instructors from Brisbane to Darwin and everywhere in between as well as Fiji, Solomon Islands and New Zealand. His real passion is being in the water and observing the myriad of life found on the Reef, an environment far more remarkable than anything found above water. His involvement in Reef conservation started nearly 40 years ago when he realised that the Reef is under pressure and little was being done to protect it.
Committee Member- Alison Friswell
Committee Member
Alison Friswell
Alison has always been passionate about our natural environment and has a lifelong interest in our native plants, animals and wild places as well as their connection to the health and wellbeing of our own species.  She has a Bachelor of Forest Science degree and 25 years of experience in various roles with state government agencies in Queensland. She became involved with the Mackay Conservation Group because she is very concerned about the impacts we are having on our natural world and the need to live more sustainably within it. She enjoys most outdoor activities but is particularly obsessed with bushwalking, mountain biking, gardening and rock hunting.
Committee Member-  Samarla Deshong
Committee Member
Samarla Deshong
Samarla has worked in the natural resource management and environment sectors for around 20 years. At the moment she is working with a number of environment agencies around climate change and is especially passionate about Traditional Owner engagement and preservation of cultural heritage. If she gets a break in her busy schedule she likes to chill and watch Netflix. She was brought up with a strong connection to country and works in the environment space because she wishes to maintain that culture and pass it down to the next generation. She is particularly passionate about turtles, dugongs and wetlands.