About DEA Staff


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

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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.

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Carmela Ferraro

Media & Communications Coordinator

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Carmela completed her diploma in journalism at RMIT after gaining a degree in Politics (Hons), in between back-packing across Europe and Turkey and a host of casual jobs (from airbed sales to kitchen-handing to child minding). She worked as a features journalist for a number of national and international publications – The Age, the Guardian Weekly, the Financial Times and more – for more than two decades before the 2014 iDEA annual conference, which she was reporting on, woke her up to the deplorable state of our environment and the need to protect it. A serendipitous part-time job vacancy soon after the iDEA conference led her to her current role at DEA. A passionate advocate for an inclusive and thriving community, Carmela has been involved in local media and assisting activist and multicultural groups to have a voice. Over the years, she has also volunteered for a number of NFP organisations, including Oxfam, Environment Victoria, The Humanitarian Crisis Hub (now Diaspora Australia) and others.

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Kylie Astell

Office Manager

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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 in administrative roles before moving to the government sector. After 16 years at the Australian Taxation Office in a variety of roles from Customer Service to Personal Assistant to Assistant Director, Kylie returned to the not for profit sector in late 2018 working as Operations Manager at Kinaway Chamber of Commerce. As Operations Manager, Kylie worked with Victorian Indigenous small businesses and the State Government to improve opportunities for Indigenous business owners. A keen camper, Kylie loves to get outdoors, is passionate about protecting Australian wildlife and loves to visit remote places in Australia.  Her favourite places in Australia to date are Loyalty Beach, Cape York and Adele’s Grove near Lawn Hill National Park in far North Queensland which she visited in 2014 and 2017. 

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