Our Board


Petronel Nieuwoud, Founder & CEO

Petronel Nieuwoudt, the Founder and CEO of Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, has dedicated her life to wildlife conservation. After her studies, Petronel joined the South African Police Service's Endangered Species Protection Unit, where she rose to the rank of Captain. She later established The Game Capture School, providing training in wildlife capture and management. Passionate about wildlife rehabilitation, she founded Sondela Wildlife Centre and Tamboti Wildlife Centre. In 2011, Petronel founded Care for Wild Africa, a rehabilitation centre for indigenous wildlife. As the rhino poaching crisis developed, Care for Wild evolved into the world’s largest specialised orphaned, rhino sanctuary. Petronel's community-focused and sustainable vision has brought opportunities to the local community, addressing socio-economic challenges. Petronel's mission protects rhinos and people alike, ensuring a better future for generations to come.


Chris de Bruno Austin

Chris de Bruno Austin is a globally recognized forest and wildfire specialist, serving as the MD of WoF International/Kishugu Holdings Limited and CEO of the Kishugu Group of Companies. He led the successful implementation of the South African Government's Working on Fire Programme, renowned for rural job creation. Chris has contributed to international projects, including climate change initiatives, forestry skill development for small-scale farmers, and vegetation management in National Parks. With extensive expertise, he has authored technical papers and fire management plans for notable sites like Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and the Okavango Delta. Chris has played a crucial role in advancing fire management research, including the SavFIRE project in Kruger National Park.


Nico Oosthuizen

With 24 years of experience in the forestry industry, Nico is a divisional director for Working on Fire International, leading the New Markets division. He is responsible for the group's strategy and expansion into new markets. Nico holds key positions within the organization, including President of the General Council for WoF Mozambique, where he establishes partnerships with the Mozambican Government and parastatals. He is also actively involved in various business and tourism chambers, serving as President of the Barberton Chamber of Business and as a director in the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism. Additionally, Nico contributes to the preservation of heritage sites as a member of the Barberton Makhonjwa World Heritage Site task team.


Mark Ngwenyama

Mark Ngwenyama brings over 22 years of political experience to his role as Relationship Manager for the Barberton Chamber of Business's Batobic program. Mark has played a pivotal role in community liaison and political support coordination for the Barberton Makhonjwa World Heritage Site, the first in Mpumalanga Province, since 2010. He has also served in Parliament for the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and the Parliamentary Constituency Office, leveraging his expertise as an Office Administrator. With more than 18 years of experience working closely with communities in Barberton and the surrounding areas, Mark's dedication and expertise have made a significant impact.

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