Board of Directors
Chairman: Patrick Lindsay
Author and documentary maker, Patrick has been a passionate advocate of the story of Kokoda since he first visited in 1983 and first walked the Track in 1992. He wrote the best-selling book The Spirit of Kokoda ... Then & Now in 2002. It was an exploration of the Kokoda spirit. He has since written the best sellers: The Spirit of The Digger; Back From The Dead; The Essence of Kokoda; The Spirit of Gallipoli; the It’s Never Too Late series of motivational books; Cosgrove, Portrait of a Leader; Heart of Champion; Fromelles; Our Darkest Day; Kokoda Spirit; The Coast Watchers and True Blue. He created the format for the top-rating TV reality series, In Their Footsteps, broadcast on the Nine Network in 2011 and, most recently, he created the Kokoda App to bring the story to the digital generation. Patrick has been chairman since July 2006.
Executive Director: Dr Genevieve Nelson
Genevieve is one of the founding directors of KTF and has been the Executive Director since January 2009. Genevieve holds a doctorate in cross-cultural and educational psychology from the University of Western Sydney and is an expert in education in Papua New Guinea. She also has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (Honours). Genevieve is an Adjunct Research Fellow with the University of Western Sydney as well as a Registered Psychologist. She has published extensively and presented at national and international conferences about her experience in PNG. Genevieve has walked the Kokoda Track 18 times and spends at least 2 months of every year in the remote communities implementing and monitoring our aid programs. Genevieve was a finalist in the 2012 Young Australian of the Year Awards and the 2012 Telstra Business Women's Awards. She also won the 2012 Silver Stevie Award for Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year.
Director: Yahoo Serious
Yahoo Serious is a Kokoda Track Foundation founding director. Yahoo has trekked the Track many times and is a friend of the villagers and many Aussie veterans of the New Guinea campaign. Yahoo Serious was the first Australian to write, direct, produce and star in a major motion picture and earned an international reputation as one of Australia’s most original and successful independent filmmakers. In 1989 he was the cover of Time magazine. Yahoo studied at the National Art School, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at Newcastle University and the Celebrated Filmmaker Award from Harvard University for his acclaimed worldwide hit Young Einstein. He produced successful music albums, created award-winning documentaries and wrote, directed, produced and starred in the movies Young Einstein, Reckless Kelly and Mr Accident. Yahoo designed the all-Australian flag and is a passionate advocate for the Australian Republic. He is producing an epic World War Two movie featuring the Kokoda Diggers and Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.
Director: Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas is a chartered accountant, company director and business adviser based in Sydney. He has been on the board of the Foundation since its inception and is a member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee. He is a principal in TFG International Pty Limited, a consulting and advisory firm. Peter is a board member of Indigenous Business Australia and chairs its Finance & Investment Committee. He also sits on the board of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education where he chairs its Audit & Risk Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. In the not-for-profit sector Peter sits on the boards of the Bluearth Institute and the CatholicCare Foundation. He is a keen swimmer and walker and walked the Kokoda Track in 2002.
Director: David Frecker
David Frecker is a corporate and commercial lawyer and company director based in Sydney, and has worked extensively in Papua New Guinea. He has been on the board of the Foundation since 2006 and chairs the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee. He is a partner in the national law firm, Ashurst Australia. David is also a director of Kula Gold Limited, a listed company with a gold development project in Papua New Guinea. David enjoys a range of outdoor activities and has walked the Kokoda Track twice, in 1992 and 2009. He continues to visit Papua New Guinea periodically.
Director: Dr Stephen Wearing
Stephen Wearing is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). He has also taught as a visiting fellow at a number of universities in his 25-year career at UTS, including Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and Newcastle University and Macquarie University in Australia. Stephen specializes in the social sciences in natural resource management. His research and publications range across the areas of resource management to the sociology of leisure and tourism. He has been project director for a range of social sciences in natural resource management projects and research. He has also been a team leader for a variety of ecotourism, volunteer tourism and outdoor education activities internationally. His latest book, Tourism Cultures: Identity, Place and Traveler, contributes to the growing area of ‘critical tourism studies’. This is a movement that seeks to bring an alternative commentary and new theoretical thinking to the understanding of tourism in contemporary society.
Director and Honorary Treasurer: Bernie Egan
Bernie was appointed Honorary Treasurer in September 2006 and Director in 2009. Bernie developed his passionate interest in PNG and the Kokoda Track when he walked it with one of his sons in 2006 in memory of his late father-in-law. He spent 35 years with the Reserve Bank of Australia followed by 5 years with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Since 2008 he consulted to Ernst and Young and Promontory Financial Group and undertook a number of missions with the International Monetary Fund. He is currently a Senior Financial Sector Specialist with the Bank for International Settlements in Basel.
Director: Elizabeth Carr
Elizabeth’s focus is the inter-dependence of the private and public sectors in order to enrich the economic and social fabric of Australia and its role in the international community. Elizabeth's skills incorporate both the private and public sectors, having worked for IBM, Macquarie Group, and Department State Development WA. She has undertaken a Masters degree at Harvard University, specialising in governance, accountability, cultural change and strategic policy. Elizabeth is the Chair of the Macular Degeneration Foundation and a non-Executive Board member for the Environmental Protection Authority (WA), The Safety, Return to Work and Support Board (NSW), Kambala School for Girls (NSW), St Marys Anglican Girls School (WA) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In addition Elizabeth undertakes consultancies on Governance and Risk Management in the Public, Private and Not-for-Profit sectors. She walked the Track in 2009 with family and friends as a journey of thanks to her dad who fought in PNG in WWII.
Director: Bill James
Bill was born in Sydney and after completing an Economics Degree he travelled extensively overseas. After his arrival in London in 1973, Bill co-founded Topdeck Travel, now one of the UK’s leading youth tour operators. On his return to Australia in 1984, Bill was a founding director of Flight Centre Limited, a listed travel company and one of Australia's leading retailers. Bill remains a shareholder in the company and is a director of the Flight Centre Foundation.
Bill has published 'Field Guide to the Kokoda Track,' a comprehensive guide for trekkers to this significant WW2 battlefield in Papua New Guinea. Bill is married to Elizabeth and has two sons, Richard and Andrew. He now pursues his interests in history, travel, surfboarding, golfing, hiking and philanthropy.
Honorary Secretary: Salman Haq
Salman was appointed Secretary in August 2006. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Salman’s career spans over 20 years including positions with Touche Ross & Co and Goodman Fielder Limited.