Project Numbat Committee

By volunteering on the Project Numbat Committee you will be working with like minded people contributing to the long term awareness and protection of the Numbat; Western Australia's mammal emblem.

Interested in becoming a Committee member? Please get in touch with us via email:


President - Tamara Wilkes-Jones

Tamara first became aware of numbats as a child watching the ‘Nature of Australia’ documentaries, but living in Victoria meant she wasn't going to see one in the wild.

Her first sighting of a numbat was at Yookamurra sanctuary 2002 in South Australia now run by Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Her regular wild sightings became an addiction in 2007 soon after she moved to Western Australia predominately to experience the state's unique flora and fauna.

That day in 2007 was a 40+ degree day in the morning and in a Wandoo Woodland with little shade, friendly ticks and the only cool breeze provided by driving with the car window down, she was rewarded to see her first numbat on its hind legs on the side of road observing the surroundings. That's when her interest in numbats began and has continued to grow as she participates in Project Numbat, volunteers with Department of Parks and Wildlife, continues her woodland numbat experiences and inspires others to take an interest in the numbat.


Adam Cross

Adam is a restoration ecologist who studies the repair of degraded landscapes and the drivers of community resilience to environmental change, and has authored over 40 scientific papers, books and book chapters. He has loved numbats since childhood, and joined Project Numbat in 2018 to help preserve this unique species.

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Vice President - Emily Safe

Emily’s profile to follow.

Treasurer - Jennie Carson

Jennie has always had a love of the outdoors and has spent many hours walking through the beautiful bush surrounding Perth and her homeland of Canada.  Now that she has a young family, she is keen to set an example for her children and to give back to the environment that has provided her with so much enjoyment over the years.

Jennie is excited to help raise awareness about Project Numbat and to help ensure the Numbat population can one day thrive in their natural habitat.

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Secretary - Brian Hadwin

Brian’s profile to follow.


Karen (Centre) representing Project numbat along with Perth Zoo and DBCA staff at the 2014 Numbat release.

Karen (Centre) representing Project numbat along with Perth Zoo and DBCA staff at the 2014 Numbat release.

Karen Cavanough

A love of wildlife led Karen to a variety of studies including certificates in captive animals and veterinary nursing; as well as degrees in conservation & wildlife biology, and in captive vertebrate management.

Karen has been a Project Numbat member since 2010 and joined our Committee in 2013 to make a difference and to assist in the conservation of WA's unique mammal emblem.  Karen is fortunate to work at Perth Zoo as a Zoo Keeper within the Native Species Breeding Program working with our beloved numbats and other endangered WA species.

In addition to Project Numbat, Karen is a current volunteer at Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and for the Turtle Oblonga Rescue and Rehabilitation Network. She previously volunteered locally at Caversham Wildlife Park and the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre; as well as overseas with the Orangutan Health Network (Sumatra), Wildlife Friends Foundation (Thailand), Free the Bears (Cambodia) and Animals Asia (China).

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Amy Robey

Growing up with parents who rehabilitated injured wildlife, Amy has always had an interest in conservation. For a number of years after school however, she could not figure out what to do with her passion.

Amy decided to go to university and in mid 2015 graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Conservation Biology (Honors). During and since her studies Amy has done as much volunteer fieldwork as possible and has been lucky enough to be involved in a range of fauna trapping projects in areas such as the Pilbara, Dryandra Woodland, Rottnest Island, Busselton and Manjimup. 

Amy has previously volunteered for a number of organisations including WWF, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation and Native Animal Rescue. These opportunities allowed her to lend her skills to important not-for-profit organisations whilst learning about different industries and gaining additional skills. She now works for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Amy joined Project Numbat in order to help out a worthy cause and in the hope that it’ll allow her to see a numbat in the wild - she has now seen three!


Shelley Hill

Shelley grew up with two Vets for parents, which fostered a strong love for all animals. However she chose to take this down a different path, to save and protect our amazing native wildlife.

She studied Conservation Biology and Environmental Science in her undergraduate degree, and followed this with a Masters in Conservation Biology, which gave her a strong knowledge of Western Australia’s flora and fauna, and some amazing hands-on experience with their monitoring and conservation.

Shelley is now trying to find where she belongs in the conservation world and where she could do the most good, and this search brought her right to Project Numbat. She joined in her first drive survey in November 2018, and between the thrill of numbat spotting and the vast love for and knowledge of numbats held by those who study them, this became her most enjoyable volunteering experience. She joined the committee immediately after, and is undertaking the role of Media Officer to combine her like for writing with raising awareness for the numbat. Shelley loves being able to share her appreciation for the numbat with the community, and seeing the effect it can have when this awareness bands people together to help. In addition, Shelley works out in the field in environmental management to help improve and preserve our urban areas of natural habitat.


Jo Drew

Jo has always had a passion for animals and anything involving nature, in particular marine environments. She studied Zoology and Botany at UWA and then completed a teaching qualification to specialise in teaching Primary Science. She has taught as a Primary Science Teacher for twenty years and has specialised in Biology and Sustainability Education.

She was extremely fortunate to be employed by Perth Zoo as a Discovery and Learning Officer in 2017. With her children growing up, she had more time to volunteer and wanted to assist with helping local endangered species.

She had heard of Project Numbat and their amazing work and dedication through the zoo and so decided to volunteer in the area of education. Jo also volunteers for Mandurah Wildlife Rescue, Estuary Guardians and Seabird Rescue in Mandurah. She is looking forward to volunteering out in the field and seeing her first numbat in the wild!