Above picture: Phiwisidingo Thulisile (Minky) Shabalala in the grounds of BirdLife South Africa’s Isdell House

The Mouse-Free Marion (MFM) Project extends a warm welcome to the most recent member of its team.  She is Phiwisidingo Thulisile Shabalala, known to her friends and colleagues as Minky.  Joining the project in October 2023 as its Administration and Finance Officer, Minky is based at Isdell House, BirdLife South Africa’s head office in Johannesburg.  She works closely with the Finance Team at BirdLife South Africa to provide administrative and finance support across all areas of the MFM Project, being responsible for the management of the project’s administrative, philanthropic donation, bookkeeping and finance activities.

Following her matriculation from Ladysmith’s Emhlwaneni High School in the Uthukela District of KwaZulu-Natal, Minky has worked for 13 years as a junior accountant and bookkeeper at several business concerns.  She has completed the first year of a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria.  She is an all-rounder who has dealt with everything from front office all the way to trial balance.

Minky describes herself as passionate, experienced and dedicated with strong communication skills, paying particular attention to detail.  Able to converse in English, isiZulu and Sesotho, she brings new language skills to a project that is based in a multicultural country that has no less than 12 official languages.  Minky lists her interests as cooking, hiking and reading novels.

MFM Project Manager, Anton Wolfaardt writes: “Minky has been with us for less than two months and has had to hit the ground running.  She has already proven to be a valuable member of the MFM Project Team.  We all look forward to continuing to work with her towards our common goal of restoring Marion Island’s ecological integrity – one without its killer mice!”

John Cooper, News Correspondent, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 28 November 2023



A Grey-headed Albatross occupies an empty next on Marion Island; photograph by Dean Evans, poster design by Michelle Risi


The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a registered non-profit company (No. 2020/922433/08) in South Africa, established to eradicate the invasive albatross-killing mice on Marion Island in the Southern Ocean.  The project was initiated by BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.  Upon successful completion, the project will restore the critical breeding habitat of over two million seabirds, many globally threatened, and improve the island’s resilience to a warming climate.  For more information or to support the project please visit mousefreemarion.org.