Watch the TedX Talk
Damien is an Iraq war veteran who served as a Naval clearance diver and special operations sniper for the Australian Defense Force. In 2009 while travelling through Africa, he was inspired by the work of rangers and the plight of wildlife. Liquidating his life savings, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) was established to be the last line of defence for nature. Over the past decade the IAPF has scaled to train and support rangers which now help protect over 4 million hectares of African wilderness.
In 2017 IAPF founded ‘Akashinga – Nature Protected by Women’, a program that has already grown to over 170 employees, becoming the only group of nature reserves in the world to be protected by women. The goal is to employ 1000 women by 2025, protecting a network of 20 nature reserves, all managed by the IAPF.
Damien is the winner of the 2019 Winsome Constance Kindness Gold Medal, a prestigious international recognition for services to animals and humanity. Past recipients include Sir David Attenborough and Dr Jane Goodall. He was featured in the newly released James Cameron documentary The Game Changers, and is now releasing another documentary with James Cameron and National Geographic about his work with the women of Akashinga.
Managing Director (Australia)
Chief Operating Officer
Advisor & Patron
Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Paradise Foundation International. Sichuan, China
New York City, United States
Dutch Government via the Embassy of the Netherlands Harare, Zimbabwe
2018 Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards (ZIWA) - Founders Award. Birmingham, United Kingdom
2018 African Ranger Awards - The Paradise Foundation International. Sichuan, China
2019 Tribecca Film Festival - Disruptive Innovators Award, 2019. New York City
2019 Gender Champion Award - Dutch Government via the Embassy of the Netherlands. Harare, Zimbabwe
Winsom Constant Kindness Gold medal – Damien Mander