Our Story

Rangers are the missing link in conservation. That’s why I’ll do everything I can to support The Thin Green Line Foundation.

Dr Jane Goodall

Our purpose

Every day, Park Rangers risk their lives to protect wildlife and wild places from poaching and other threats. Sadly, it’s estimated that over 1,000 park rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past 10 years – a large percentage of these are due to commercial poachers and armed militia groups. Park Rangers are generally under-equipped, underpaid, and often under-appreciated. We think they are heroes. And we work tirelessly to to provide them with the support they need to continue to protect threatened species around the world.

What we do

The Thin Green Line Foundation Protects Nature’s Protectors by providing vital support to Park Rangers and their communities who are the front-line of conservation. We work predominantly in developing nations and conflict zones, and with Indigenous Park Rangers within Australia and abroad.

We are the only organisation solely dedicated to providing Rangers worldwide with the assistance they deserve and need. As the official charity arm of the International Ranger Federation, TTGLF has unparalleled access to Rangers worldwide.

The Thin Green Line Foundation is highly successful at delivering much needed support to Rangers, with a wide range of effective programs worldwide – from Kenya to Tanzania, Costa Rica to Guatemala, Thailand to Indonesia, and in many, many more places around the globe.

In the sad circumstance of a Ranger losing his or her life in the line of duty, TTGLF helps to ensure the widows and families are looked after into the future.

Through our work we aim to ensure that:

  • Park Rangers are valued for their vital role at the front line of conservation
  • Park Rangers, when in contact situations with poachers, have the ability to defend themselves
  • Park Rangers are provided with decent working conditions and a living wage
  • Park Rangers are provided with the skills and tools they need
  • Park Rangers families and communities have on-going support when Rangers are injured or killed in the line of duty

Center map

Background

The Thin Green Line Foundation was founded by award-winning conservationist, documentary filmmaker and Park Ranger, Sean Willmore.

In 2004, Sean set off around the world to make a documentary about the stories and plight of Park Rangers. Taking almost 12 months to travel through 23 countries, he uncovered many inspiring stories along the way.

The Thin Green Line documentary premiered in 2007, capturing people’s hearts in over 50 countries. The film has since become an international success story, offering a sense of hope and pride for Park Rangers around the world.

The documentary became the catalyst for Sean to set up The Thin Green Line Foundation, to support Park Rangers in danger.

Recognition

Sean Willmore and the Thin Green Line Foundation have been recognised globally for their conservation efforts, including:

  • Banksia International Award (2014)
  • Pride of Australia medal (2013)
  • Melbourne Award for Contribution to Sustainability (2013)
  • United Nations Association of Australia Environment Award (2009)

Our Ambassadors

Dr Jane Goodall

Dr Jane Goodall

Thin Green Line Ambassador

A legend of conservation and a beacon for hope,  Dr Jane Goodall is a proud ambassador for the Thin Green Line Foundation.

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She managed to open a window into their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives.

Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share.

Supporting The Thin Green Line and the rangers it represents was a no brainer – it’s a missing link in the conservation puzzle and I’m so proud to support this work in whatever way I can.”    – Jane Goodall

View Jane’s message to the world’s rangers on our Press Room.

janegoodall.org.au

Gotye

Gotye

Ambassador

Wouter “Wally” De Backer, better known as Australian musician and singer-songwriter Gotye, came to support the Thin Green Line Foundation through his friendship with founder, Sean Willmore.

Gotye has helped raise funds for the Foundation by performing at events, donating his song Eyes Wide Open to the Greenline Grooves album, and posing for an art piece which was then raffled off.

Gotye’s 2011 single Somebody That I Used to Know reached number one on the Australian charts and the Billboard Hot 100. He has won five ARIA Awards, three Grammy Awards and has been nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award.

facebook.com/gotye | twitter.com/gotye

Nicky Bomba

Nicky Bomba

Ambassador

Nicky is one of the longest serving ambassadors of the Thin Green Line Foundation. He donated music to the documentary that started the Foundation, and played at the film’s world premiere.

Nicky has since played at numerous gigs for the Foundation, donated music to the Greenline Grooves album, and introduced thousands of people to the Foundation’s work.

Nicky has worked with a number of bands from Australia to Africa to the Middle East, honing his reggae, ska and mento expertise.

With a passion for people and culture,  the music produced by this peace-loving troubadour is a melting pot of fun, adventure and exotic sounds of the people and places he loves.

 “It’s funny when I was  growing up I wanted to be a ranger – now I’m a musician helping rangers.”    – Nicky Bomba

nickybomba.com | facebook.com/nickybomba

Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery

Ambassador

Professor Tim Flannery is a renowned Australian paleontologist, environmentalist, author and climate change activist. He is a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and a founding member of the Climate Council.

Whilst Tim is busy battling climate change, he is only too happy to be on board as one of our valued ambassadors.

Tex Perkins

Tex Perkins

Ambassador

Tex Perkins an Australian singer-songwriter, who is most widely known for fronting the popular Australian rock-band The Cruel Sea.

Tex became a Thin Green Line Ambassador after meeting Ugandan ranger John Makombo backstage at the 2012 Bluesfest in Byron Bay.

Always interested in conservation and apes in particular, Makombo  introduced him to the work of the Foundation after discussing Tex’s gorilla tattoo.

Tex has performed at a number of World Ranger Day events, promoted the Foundation in media interviews, and donated original music to the Greenline Grooves album.

facebook.com/TexPerkinsMusic/

Our Founder

Sean Willmore

Founder

Sean Willmore is a former Australian Park Ranger (11 years) and now founder and Managing Director of the Thin Green Line Foundation, and the current President of the International Rangers Federation (IRF).

While undertaking his work Sean has travelled to and worked with rangers in over 50 countries on 6 continents where he has been ambushed, held a gunpoint, charged by elephants and avoided militias. His efforts to bring attention to the dangerous work undertaken by these warriors has won him international acclaim. Using profits from documentary The Thin Green Line, Sean started The Thin Green Line Foundation (TTGLF).

His continual inspiration is from the men and women, the park rangers worldwide, that he represents and who do this front-line work on a daily basis.

Our Board

Dr William (Bill) Jackson

Chairperson

Dr Jackson is an independent environmental consultant with extensive experience in forest conservation, protected area management and community development.

He held the positions of Chief Executive of Parks Victoria and Director of National Parks for the Australian State of Victoria from late 2010 until June 2015. Prior to his appointment to Parks Victoria, Dr Jackson was Deputy Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

During his career, Dr Jackson has worked in Africa and Asia, supporting projects in Uganda, Tanzania, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and a long period in Nepal where his PhD and practical field work took place.

John Fleming

Director

John Fleming is a creative artist working in music and performance with broad experience across media and entertainment. After 21 years with the award winning comedy duo Scared Weird Little Guys, John is now working in composition, community arts, youth justice, festival direction, event management and theatre making.

John began working with the Thin Green Line Foundation some years ago as an event host and MC and is thrilled to now serve the Foundation as a board member as well.

Josh Watts

Board Member

Chief Operating Officer at Harbour IT & Converga Pty Ltd

An experienced business executive and people leader, Josh has over a decade of senior management experience across global corporates and emerging businesses including national general manager roles across Canon and Telstra. He has helped transform enterprises to achieve their maximum potential. Josh’s achievements in business and law include negotiating some of the biggest annuity contracts in Australia, running one of the largest multinational commercial cases ever in the Federal Court, and driving vision, developing strategy and building the culture that delivers it. He is proud to be involved in a cause he is passionate about – The Thin Green Line Foundation.

Emma Watts

Board Member

Director of Partnerships, Parks Victoria

Emma Watts has more than 20 years’ experience engaging and managing high performing teams across the not-for-profit, corporate and government sectors. Currently working at Parks Victoria as the Director of Partnerships, her role has carriage for driving key partnerships, programs and initiatives within the departments of tourism, internal communications, national and international engagement, education and interpretation, philanthropy, and membership.

Her previous positions include Director of Communications at Parks Victoria, Communications and Media Manger at Visit Victoria, Head of Marketing and Communications at Wesley Mission Victoria, Campaigns and Communications Manager at RSPCA Victoria, and Public Relations Manager at Museums Victoria. Emma is passionate about animal welfare and has spent the past 16 years working and volunteering to improve the lives of animals both in Australia and overseas. With The Thin Green Line Foundation, she continues on this journey by supporting those who care for some of the world’s most endangered and precious species.

Chantal Fowler

Director and Company Secretary

Manager, Governance & Business Systems at Bush Heritage

Chantal has extensive and varied experience gained working for Parks Victoria and Parks Canada, having worked in a range of areas including field research, volunteer management, interpretation and education, visitor services, customer service and business administration. Chantal now works at Bush Heritage, an independent not-for-profit conservation organisation that manages land to protect Australia’s irreplaceable landscapes and its magnificent native species.

Download The Thin Green Line Foundation’s Constitution.

Our Staff Team

Tom Broadhurst

Programs and Funding Manager

Tom worked in international relations for the British government for several years before leaving London in search of adventure in 2010. After completing a Masters in Sustainable Development, Tom subsequently lived in Bolivia, Ethiopia and Uganda, where he worked as a project management consultant with various international development and conservation organisations. A passionate advocate for sustainability and a keen nature photographer, Tom aims to strengthen the impact of Thin Green Line’s programs and projects around the world and increase support for Rangers on the frontlines of conservation.

Leigh Foster

Administrative Officer

Leigh is The Thin Green Line Foundation’s Administrative Officer with responsibilities for financial administration, management support and office management, as well as reporting and project administration.

With many years’ experience as a production manager and producer in the television industry, Leigh is an exceptionally well organised professional with outstanding project management and problem-solving abilities. Leigh has travelled very widely and is completing a degree in community and international development.

Nick Besley

Communications Officer

Nick’s responsibilities are communications, Fallen Ranger support, and assisting with fund raising strategies. Working part-time at The Thin Green Line Foundation he is gaining many insights into international conservation. Nick’s experience is based on more than a few years working in the tertiary education sector, mainly as a manager in marketing and communications. At RMIT he established a university-to-school peer tutoring program and created a successful series of science road shows for regional schools.

Sandi Allen

Volunteer

“Each week I work at the Thin Green Line office packing and sending out merchandise purchased online, emailing donation receipts and updating our online e-commerce site. I also organise merchandise for events and help with other administrative tasks.”

“All our volunteers have their own skills that can not only help with so many aspects within the running of the organisation, but they can also spread the word about the work TGLF does across the world. Our volunteers are passionate about wildlife and committed to supporting TGLF.”