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Maria Abadilla

Chair Orangutan Alliance

Orangutan Alliance was established by founder and responsible food system advocate, Maria Abadilla as a result of her time spent working in the food industry on certification, brand management and product development.

As a marketing consultant working internationally, she has lived around the world and seen first hand the effects of non-sustainable palm oil development on people, on the environment and on endangered species.

As a passionate campaigner for responsible food systems she wanted to assist grassroots projects working on conservation and reforestation affected by this issue but believed that part of the solution needs to come from the cause – affected by demand and consumers awareness.

Seeing the urgency of the issue from NGO’s, frustration from consumers and motivated by slow policy response and regulation, she set out to give consumers a choice – a choice to be part of the solution through their purchase via the Orangutan Alliance  Palm Oil Free Seal.  She developed the program to achieve three outcomes – to provide consumer choice, to produce a new revenue stream for grassroots projects and to support businesses that want to create products with care.

Through her passion, Orangutan Alliance has built international networks with food technologists, cosmetic manufacturers, agricultural experts, ingredient makers, researchers, policy makers, conservation networks, influencers and the media with the aim of working together to develop solutions to this issue.



Kate Macdonald

Advisor Economics, Social & Environmental Standards

Kate Macdonald is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, having held previous positions at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Australian National University, and Oxford University. Her research focuses on the politics of transnational production and business, with a particular focus on social, labour and human rights regulation of global business. Recent projects have examined how social and environmental standards governing production in agribusiness sectors such as tea and palm oil have been influenced by a range of transnational organisations, including international banks, financial institutions, and multi-stakeholder standard-setting schemes such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance.


Simone Novello

Partnerships Advisor

Along with sitting on the Orangutan Alliance Advisory Board, Simone is Head of Partnerships for and She draws on 20 years experience in partnerships for businesses of all sizes from banks and airlines to micro and start ups, helping eco or aspiring eco businesses to realise their impact goals. .



Advisor for Campaigns

As well as sitting on the Board of the Orangutan Alliance as advisor for campaigns, Sarah is leader of her local Sustainability Alliance, runs online environmental groups and manages a global environmental news page, ‘Plastic Free Future.’ She was a 2018 sustainability judge for the Lord Mayor of Brisbane’s business awards and is a media presenter at the Lord Mayor Asia Pacific Summit 2019 on ‘Ocean Plastic Pollution’.

Sarah is committed to creating positive change for the future of our planet,all life on it and for future generations.


Claire Madeleine Gold

Policy Committee Advisor

Having graduated with her Master's in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development with a First Class honours award, she focused her research interests on marine conservation and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Claire currently works for the Knowledge Management team in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support for the United Nations in New York. She supports the Orangutan Alliance as a Policy Advisor



Marketing and Communications Advisor

Kate is an award winning Marketing & Communications professional based in Melbourne, with over 10 years experience in businesses across the fashion, beauty, media, lifestyle, major event, tourism and not for profit industries, both locally and internationally.

A passionate conservationist, she is utelising her years of Marketing and Communications expertise to assist environmental conservation and animal protection organisations to maximise their positive impact and influence around the world.


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Deya Ward

UK Correspondent

Deya is a zoologist and wildlife filmmaker. She has worked on projects as part of her masters in partnership with the BBC.  She is passionate about science communication - and uses her experience as a focus for her talks in schools across the UK. She has also been involved with various groups including Ape Alliance, Roots and Shoots, Action for Conservation, Orangutan Foundation International and Wilderland Film Festival. Using public speaking, her language skills in Bahasa Indonesia and interests in art and filming, Deya is driven to creatively educate about Orangutans, the conservation of their habitat and the impact of non-sustainable palm oil. 


Trevor Nelson 

US Correspondent

Trevor is a wildlife biologist and land stewardship coordinator. His passion is generating awareness for endangered species. At USFWS, he worked on conservation and management projects. He aims at using his experiences and public outreach skills as a tool to draw attention to Orangutan conservation globally.



OA Features Writer

Vanya is a UK-based feature writer. She is currently studying Journalism at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. She is passionate about the welfare of animals. By contributing with research and writing articles, Vanya aims to draw attention to environmental issues, concerning the palm oil industry