About Us

South Endeavour Trust was established in 2007 as an independent, not for profit, charitable trust with the sole purpose of contributing to nature conservation in Australia.


South Endeavour currently owns and manages twenty conservation reserves.  Eight of these are in NSW and range from the alpine country in the Snowy Mountains, to a vast ephemeral wetland northwest of Bourke to the swamps of wet forests of the northern NSW coastal plain.  

We currently have twelve reserves in Queensland.  These are focused on two areas of great conservation need: the unique but highly fragmented rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands and the intersection of the Wet Tropics and Cape York bio regions.


Our seven reserves on the Atherton Tablelands are focused on building and protecting corridors to help reconnect the extraordinary rainforests of the Tablelands with their large array of endemic species, many of whom are threatened by climate change.


after our recent purchase of the spectacular Mt Gibson Reserve, we now have five reserves at the intersection of the Wet Tropics and Cape York.  These protect large areas of the headwaters of the Normanby and Annan Rivers.  Mt Gibson rises up on to the Windsor Tableland, possibly one of Northern Australia’s most important climate change refugia.


At South Endeavour we believe that private individuals and private sector organisations can make a very major contribution to nature conservation in Australia, both supplementing and complementing the public reserve system. We have great admiration for the committed efforts of the national parks services throughout Australia and for organisations such as the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Bush Heritage as well as for the myriad of smaller organisations and individuals who are doing so much to care for our precious environment.


We believe that there is no single right model for conservation. Rather, there are many right models that, working together, can make a very real difference to protecting the truly unique flora and fauna of this great and ancient continent.


Our primary objectives are three fold:








To make the greatest possible contribution to nature conservation that we can, which often means doing things that others might like to do but for various reasons cannot.  For example, we have purchased a number of areas of very expensive farming land on the Atherton Tablelands to allow us to replant rainforest to establish essential wildlife and claim the change corridors. These corridors are vital in enabling a range of endemic small mammals the greatest possible chance of survival in the face of the threats of climate change.







To manage our conservation reserves as well as we practically can.  This means making good management decisions based on sound science and then carrying those decisions through into on ground actions that make a real difference. Our major management focuses are on: seeking to control and reduce the extent and number of weeds; reducing feral animal populations to as low a level as commercially viable; and to use fire as a tool to ensure appropriate diversity and resilience.








To ensure that we build and maintain a sufficient capital base such the annual income from that capital is sufficient to meet our base management costs in perpetuity. This means that we are very focused on knowing and controlling our costs and that we have great regard for future management expenses in considering properties for purchase.  As a consequence, we tend to cluster our reserves within specific geographic areas to encourage efficiency in management and that we try to buy properties where the management requirements are known and, preferably, are limited.


Who Are We?


South Endeavour Pty Limited is the trustee company for South Endeavour Trust.


Corena Marias  

Corena Marais


Corena is the wife of the late Simon Marais - Founder of South Endeavour and Allan Gray Australia and previous Chairman of Allan Gray South Africa. Together they have been involved in nature conservation for many years, creating private conservation reserves in South Africa and Australia.

Tim Hughes  

Tim Hughes, B.Sc.(Hons) B.A.(Hons) M.Nat.Res.


Tim has had very wide experience as an economist, writer and company director. He has had over thirty years of experience in senior roles in the Australian investment management industry and wrote a weekly economics and finance column for the Courier-Mail from 1995 to 2013. He started his working career with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and has had a lifetime interest in conservation. He was on the Board of the NSW Nature Conservation Trust from 2003 to 2011 and was Chair from 2006 to 2011.  Tim has directed the day to day operations of South Endeavour since 2011.

Ben Marias  

Ben Marais, MD. PhD


Ben is a paediatrician and infectious diseases expert. He is Deputy Director of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at the University of Sydney. As a paediatrician he has had a long standing interest in our environmental legacy, particularly the need to preserve ecosystem resilience and to value the essential services that healthy ecosystems provide.



André Brink, Chartered Accountant (SA)


André is the Financial Director of the Trust. He has extensive experience in advising international corporations and many years' experience dealing with charitable organisations.