Mal was the owner and founder of the Pacific Helicopters Group, one of the largest providers of aviation services in the Southern Hemisphere.
Mal was born in England, immigrated to Australia as a child where he completed his education and served with distinction in the Australian Defence Forces. Whilst serving in the Defence Forces, Mal qualified as a helicopter pilot, and, subsequently, began his business career in aviation. In 1969 Mal was posted to Papua New Guinea. Soon after he established the Pacific Helicopters Group and then expanded and diversified his business interests into building and construction, hotels and resorts. After a brief career in PNG Politics, where he served two terms as a member of the PNG Parliament and Governor of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, Mal began sharing his time between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Mal always made time to serve the not-for-profit sectors. A strong advocate of Global Corporate Social Responsibility Mal had extensive experience in management and leadership roles with several national and international non-profit organisations. Mal pioneered and implemented various grant making programs and business partnerships focused on improving social and economic conditions in developing communities. In Papua New Guinea, Mal was regularly heard on issues concerning environmental research and conservation.
The Kela Foundation was Mal’s initiative to assist and support underprivileged and disadvantage communities in Australia and help preserve and sustain their environment. His vision was to create a resource to give underprivileged children and their communities access to the same opportunities that were afforded to him as a child in Australia.
Sadly, on 4th April 2021, Mal passed away in hospital due to unexpectedly severe complications from an acute illness.
Mal was a rare person, humble whilst deeply committed to helping those less fortunate. Mal inspired many people with his ambition and vision. He made wishes come true for many of the vulnerable and less fortunate. Mal was a “larger than life character” who had touched the hearts and lives of many people and has left behind an incredible legacy.
Despite this great loss, the Directors will continue to build on Mal’s vision for the Kela Foundation.
Mal will be remembered as one of life’s true humanitarians.
Elaine is a senior executive at a leading Australian aviation services company based in Brisbane, Queensland. Elaine is responsible for human resources, staff development, performance and education. During her long and distinguished career with the company, Elaine has held a variety of roles in finance, accounting and administration.
Elaine has also worked in the finance, manufacturing and resource industries, including a two-year secondment to the London office of a leading oil and gas company.
A long-time volunteer for charitable causes and not-for-profit organisations, Elaine remains active in her local community, helping with fundraising and arranging special events for local non-profit organisations, including schools, sporting and recreational clubs.
Elaine champions a culture of giving and has volunteered her services to the Kela Foundation.
Brendan is a partner in BDO Australia, one of the largest national and international associations of independently-owned accounting, tax and advisory firms. Brendan has over 17 years experience in public and industry accounting, including finance, tax, audit and treasury functions. In recent years, Brendan has advised a number of organisations specialising in not-for-profit accounting and consulting.
Brendan was born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to Australia with his family as a child. His family settled in Brisbane, where Brendan completed his education and graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Commerce. Following his graduation, he worked for a leading accounting firm, gaining his professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant before joining the Brisbane office of BDO.
Respected professionally for his hard work and integrity managing challenging issues and situations, Brendan made a conscious and strategic choice to serve not-for-profit organisations. His firm now works with more than 100 not-for-profit and affiliated organisations.
In 2013, Brendan helped to structure and establish The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in Australia. Brendan has served as its honorary Public Officer since inception. The trust focuses on avoidable blindness and vision loss, specifically eliminating trachoma and reducing the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The Trust has been endorsed by the Global Action Plan at the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation.
During his career, Brendan has mentored many professionals and volunteers who serve not-for-profit organisations. He is committed to increasing the quality and quantity of local, national and international opportunities for young people to volunteer.
Brendan’s passion for community service comes from his deep and genuine desire to help the less privileged in our communities. He is proud to volunteer his services to the Kela Foundation.
Mark is an Executive Director and the Chief Executive Officer of a leading Australian aviation services company based in Brisbane, Queensland.
Mark was born and educated in the United Kingdom, where he qualified as a chartered accountant and worked for a leading accounting firm. He later accepted an overseas appointment to the firm’s office in Papua New Guinea.
During this time, Mark provided professional services to local businesses, multinationals in the private sector, government departments, and national and international not-for-profit organisations. In particular, Mark spent much of his time working with charitable groups, raising funds to assist underprivileged and developing communities in Papua New Guinea. He helped establish grant development programs and business partnerships focused on creating economic and social impact.
Mark’s executive career, spanning nearly 30 years, has seen him champion a number of decisions that have changed the course of business for the organisations he’s served. He brings a strength of character to ask the tough questions, vision to take a calculated risk, and the gut instinct to get it right. More recently, he has established his own firm of chartered accountants and broadened his business interests into Australia, where he and his family are now based.
Mark holds a degree in commerce, is a qualified chartered accountant and a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Mark has had extensive experience in the financial management and governance of medium-sized enterprises.
An avid volunteer, Mark has willingly offered his services to the Kela Foundation.