Echidna Walkabout’s incredible team

Martin Maderthaner

Wildlife Guide & Operations Manager

Martin joined us in 2007. He is our most senior Wildlife Guide, and our top Bird Guide.

He was trained as a Field Guide in southern Africa, where he was born, and spent many years guiding at some of Africa’s top lodges.  He still runs amazing wildlife tours in Africa every year for his own company Explore Nature.

Martin runs our bird tours, Maximum Wildlife extended tours,  4 day Wildlife Journeys and any of our other tours.

Read more about Martin here

Kirby Leary

Wildlife Guide & General Manager

Kirby joined us in 2011. She is one of our most experienced Wildlife Guides.

She is a sensational wildlife spotter, with a particular interest in koala conservation.  Kirby grew up in Tasmania, and loves to travel.  She has lived in Japan, and recently travelled to Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Kirby runs Mungo Outback Journey and private, Sunset and Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD tours.  She also organises tree planting and Koala Conservation Days for Koala Clancy Foundation.

Allan (Bart) Bartholomew

Koala Researcher – Team Leader

Bart lives at Staughton Vale in the Brisbane Ranges, and wakes up to views of the You Yangs every day.  His home is a 30 hectare  wildlife habitat – home to Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, Laughing Kookaburras, Crimson Rosellas, Speckled Warblers and occasionally, a koala. 

Bart has been researching koalas since 2015.  In the past he was a food technologist, and has always had a great love of nature – he was an avid scuba diver as a hobby. We think he has now found his true calling in the wild in the You Yangs.  

Caz Bartholomew

Webmaster & Accounts

Caz has been part of Echidna Walkabout from the very beginning – it would not exist without her support and advice.  She has filled many roles over the years, and is currently working with Accounts, and as webmaster and Secretary for Koala Clancy Foundation.

Brett Howell

Wildlife Guide

Brett grew up in the Geelong and Great Ocean Road area – his dad was a lighthouse keeper, so Brett has lived in some of the most remote parts of the Victorian coastline.  The family even lived at Gabo Island, in far East Gippsland, for a time.  

Brett’s enthusiasm and positivity is like a shining light to all in our team.  He is also a very competent birder, and has a wealth of knowledge of the mammals, reptiles and plants of Australia.  Brett guides our Wildlife Journey, Great Ocean Road and Wild Top End trips. 

He has recently returned from hiking and wildlife-watching for 6 months in South America with his partner Jess. 

Hayley Forster

Wildlife Guide

Hayley started with us in 2018.  The role of Wildlife Guide was a perfect fit with Hayley’s passions – she is a committed conservationist and wildlife watcher.  When she is not guiding she is doing wildlife surveys in the forests east of Melbourne with WOTCH.  You can see some of Hayley’s work here: 


Hannah Black

Koala Researcher

Hannah started with us in 2017 under the mentorship of her relative Melinda King.  Since then she has gained a great knowledge and understanding of the wild koalas of the You Yangs. 

Hannah is an Aboriginal woman from the Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba and Dhudhuroa tribes of northern and north-east Victoria.  She lives in Geelong, where she is part of the Wathaurong Community. 

Caitlin Orr

Koala Researcher & Community Engagement Co-ordinator for Koala Clancy Foundation

Caitlin is studying Masters in Environmental Management specialising in Conservation at Deakin University.  She organises all our koala tree planting and Koala Conservation Days, and is a Koala Researcher.

Caitlin is from Geelong and has loved the You Yangs her whole life. She is so at home walking through the bush, in any weather, finding, photographing and researching koalas.

Dan Aston

Wildlife Guide

Jordan Tartaglia

Koala Researcher

Jordan is a Geelong local, and is studying Conservation and Land Management at Gordon Institute. 

Amy McLean

Wildlife Guide

Amy grew up in the green mountains of the Dandenongs, north-east of Melbourne, then relocated to a coastal town in East Gippsland, then lived near the Murray River in southern New South Wales.  She is now back in the green hills north of Melbourne, where she keeps her horses.

Amy is also an international tour leader for school-age groups travelling in Asia, and has a lot of experience working with kids of all ages.  

Alison Jackson


Alison was one of our first team members after she graduated university years ago. She left us for a while to work booking tours around Australia with several Melbourne-based travel agents.  She has a wealth of experience with bookings and reservations of all kinds of tours – she actually set up our Cruise Ship tour logistics for many years. 

Asitha Samarawickrama

Wildlife Guide

Asitha started watching birds at a young age with his mother in Sri Lanka.  After he moved to Australia he worked as a Ranger at Phillip Island Nature Parks, and started volunteering with Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Victorian branch.  His conservation work led him to meet Janine and Koala Clancy Foundation, and to become a Wildlife Guide for Echidna Walkabout.

Tracey Hinton

Koala Researcher

Tracey is a former CSIRO scientist, and a very active member of Geelong Field Naturalists Club.

Sam Younis

Wildlife Guide

world responsible award

Our Guest's Reviews ...

Amazing fun-filled day in The Bush

Where to begin?! Such an incredible time!  We saw a mama koala holding a baby. Then we went out in the bush and must have seen 100 kangaroos! I would definitely recommend this tour!

kristendantus, California USA December 3, 2018