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Our Team


Coordinator- Peter McCallum
Peter McCallum
Peter is the coordinator of Mackay Conservation Group. He first started volunteering with the group in 1993. Peter has academic training in environment, history and indigenous studies. He is a keen cyclist and especially enjoys bicycle touring in Queensland. Ensuring that the world his grandchildren’s generation inherits can support a diversity of life and landscapes is what drives him to work for environmental protection.  Contact Peter [email protected]
Fundraiser- Ashleigh Wyles
Ashleigh Wyles
Ashleigh holds a Certificate IV in Mental Health and is studying to be a primary school teacher. She has worked for Mackay Conservation Group since 2017 in various roles including cleaning, bookkeeping, climate organising, website design and now fundraising. Her hobbies include stitch craft, roller skating and being involved with community groups. Ashleigh’s involvement with Mackay Conservation Group is driven by her passions for community, a safe future for young people and nature.

Management committee

President- Jonathon Dykyj
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
Jessica Gardiner
Jessica is a Medical Pathology Scientist who works in hospitals across Queensland. She has been involved with Mackay Conservation Group since 2018. She also has experience volunteering with other environmental groups in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. She enjoys travelling and observing the unique flora and fauna in each new place. She is committed to the environment movement as she is concerned about the human and ecological effects of climate change. Jessica has a focus on helping protect our region, where the Great Barrier Reef is most under pressure. 
Treasurer- Kevin Healy
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 re-engage 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.

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