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African Leaf Ltd – Directors Profiles


Paul Anthony Kelly
Director and Secretary

Bachelor of Laws (Syd), Graduate Diploma in Law (Wollongong), Certificate in Legal Practice Management (UNE), Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Paul worked as a solicitor in private legal practice for 14 years, then for 12 years as a lecturer in law at Southern Cross University. He has over 25 years experience as a volunteer in community service organisations. Paul has served as Secretary and Chairman on several community-based committees including Kyogle and Lismore Community Youth Support Schemes, and is a past Secretary and past President of Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce.  He is also a former Secretary of the Far North Coast Law Society and has published articles in both US and Australian legal journals.

A founding member of African LEAF, Paul and his wife Eva sponsor one of the African LEAF children. They regularly visit the orphans in Nairobi


Eva Schaefer
Director and Public Officer

Registered Organic Farmer (Lueneburg, Germany); Foreign Language Correspondent Degree (Hanover, Germany); Bachelor of Arts (UNE); Landscaper (Byron Bay); Carer for the Disabled (Ballina Community Services). For the last 9 years Eva has worked locally as a Nanny, caring for and loving the many children who have been entrusted to her. She runs two children’s playgroups in and around Byron Bay.

Eva has been an active member of African LEAF since 2004. Together with her husband Paul, she sponsors one of the African LEAF children. They have stayed with the orphans in Nairobi on several occasions. Their commitment to the children is strong and they both have plans to return to them in Nairobi on a regular basis.

John Clifford Adam

After 30 years in the building industry in Australia, John first became involved in humanitarian work in the squatter camps of Cape Town in 1997 – the year he turned 50. His first job was as project manager, overseeing the building of a training centre and kindergarten in Phillipi on the infamous Cape Flats, where millions of Africans live in sprawling shanty towns. It was the classic ‘life changing’ experience.  This led to numerous trips to Africa, returning to Cape Town to continue various projects and eventually to East Africa.

Returning to Kenya many times with his wife Susan, who worked in teacher training, they eventually moved to Nairobi and lived on the outskirts of the city for three years. John became involved in the expansion of the Nairobi Rudolf Steiner School, and started to support a fledgling kindergarten in the Kawangware slum in Nairobi, continuing to fundraise for this, and other projects.

It was during this time that African LEAF was born, following the visit to Nairobi by Paul Kelly. Paul returned to Byron Bay with news about the projects in Kenya, and fundraising started along with the sponsorship program for orphaned and vulnerable children. The kindergarten, now called “Saints of Hope”, was, up to January 2012, supported to a large degree by African LEAF.

John and Susan returned to Australia and live in Lennox Head, revisiting Kenya regularly to continue their work and to support the Kenyans who now run the projects there. They are both been actively involved in African LEAF since its inception.


Lynda Susan Dean OAM, BA, B Asian Studies, Grad Dip Psych.

Lynda and her husband Christopher moved from Sydney to a tractor shed at Bungawalbyn Creek, NSW  in 1979 where they founded and ran Thursday Plantation, the company which took Tea Tree Oil to the world.

After 27 years they sold the business and are now actively involved in a project in India, Organic India, returning Indian farmers to organic agriculture and selling a range of ayurvedic herbs around the world.

Lynda was awarded the Order of Australia in 1999 for services to the community and the Tea Tree Industry.

Lynda is also a yoga teacher and a marriage celebrant. She was for 3 years president of Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre, Vice President of Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre since 1995 and Vice President of Byron Bay Writers’ Festival since its inception in 1997.

Husband Christopher was born and grew up in Kenya so the couple feel a strong connection to African LEAF. Lynda in inspired by the opportunity to be directly involved in a locally run project and fell in love with the African LEAF children on a visit in 2011. Lynda sponsors one of the African LEAF children.


Kristin Ellis

MA Cultural Heritage


Kristin has been a business owner in Byron Bay and involved with various local activities with her children for the last 25 years that she has lived there.   Finding ethical purpose and meaning in life is crucial to Kristin as it is for most of us.  In the search for effective charitable giving, she learnt about African Leaf and was impressed with the profound impact it has on the lives of a group of underprivileged Kenyan children.   In 2011 Kristin began co-sponsoring Faith, one of the LEAF children and in 2013 she and some friends visited Kenya where she was able to visit Faith.  Meeting Faith in person not only reinforced to Kristin that kids are the same the world over but demonstrated that the work of African Leaf has significantly improved these children’s lives.

Kristin was proud to become a LEAF director in February 2018.