Doctors for the Environment Australia is supported by a small team of dedicated employees, who share our members’ passion for a cleaner, healthier and sustainable future.

Denise Cauchi

Executive Director

Denise’s passion for climate justice and protection of the natural environment was ignited during the Jabiluka campaign in the late 90s.  

The following 20 years saw her in a range of roles in international development and human rights in Australia and Colombia, including as Executive Director and Co-founder of Diaspora Action Australia, consultant to the international development sector, lecturer at Australian Catholic University, Community Fellow in Law (honorary) at the University of Melbourne, and member of the Federal Government’s Advisory Group on Australia Africa Relations. She holds a Master of International Development from the University of Melbourne.

Denise has a strong governance background, having served on six boards including the Australian Council for International Development and Peace Brigades International.

In 2018 Denise was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for contribution to human rights and the multicultural community. 

Denise’s growing concern about the climate crisis brought her to Doctors for the Environment Australia in 2019. She lives in Melbourne on Wurundjeri land with a lovely gaggle of teenagers, two dogs and a very old turtle.

Carmela Ferraro

Media Manager

Carmela has an Honours Degree in Politics and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism.
She worked as an independent features journalist for 30 years, writing features and cover stories for Australian and overseas publications including the Age, Sunday Life, The Guardian Weekly, the Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph. Her main interests were social issues and stories about average people doing extraordinary things.
Carmela also worked in the communications departments at Oxfam and Scope, and in her spare time helped community groups with media and media training.
In the mid-2000s while reporting on DEA’s annual conference, she learned about the link between climate change and health and jumped at the chance of becoming DEA’s first Media Officer in 2014.
Carmela continues to be inspired by DEA and its message of hope.
Namely that our generation is being tasked with one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever had to face, and that if we respond with urgency, we can protect the people and the places we love.

Kylie Astell

Business and Relations Manager

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce at La Trobe University, Kylie commenced her career in not for profit organisations working for both the Anti Cancer Council and the National Heart Foundation before moving to the government sector. Kylie returned to the not for profit sector in 2018.  Kylie is passionate about protecting Australian flora and fauna and loves to visit remote places in Australia. 

Kylie’s dual role as Business and Relationship manager for DEA sees her managing the day to day operations of DEA as well as managing DEA’s Major Donor Program. Her goal is to create a giving program that will allow DEA to continue to educate, advocate and raise awareness of climate change and its impact on health.

Jode Cowie

Administration Officer

Jode grew up in family dedicated to environmental protection, animal welfare, and social responsibility. Initially working in volunteer and retail positions with organisations including Public Transport Users Association, Oxfam and The Wilderness Society, Jode then transitioned to administration roles where she discovered her genuine enjoyment of organisation and data.

In between work and study, Jode enjoys night walks, good coffee and tabletop games with her family and friends, trying to learn the Welsh language, practical origami and creating a bee friendly garden.