Our founder's story


Abundance in Byron

Byron Bay has a magic feel. It makes you smile, laugh more and feel at peace. Born from a desire to care for this place of beauty and bring more laughter and smiles to the task of protecting it, I founded Byron Rangers with some mates. 

Abundance is all around us. We have bright sunny skies, fresh air from the ocean, chirping birds, kangaroos bounding through the forest, happy dogs, smiling children and every opportunity to make the best of our life. 

I choose to bring more laughter and an abundant mindset to the challenges we have in finding a better way to live in harmony with our planet. 

Let’s focus on what unites us, not what divides us to fix the stuff we all know about.  

Let’s learn from the oldest living civilisation on earth in Australia and collaborate with our indigenous brothers and sisters to find a new way to live in harmony with our planet.

Let’s do this together.  

The early years

Born and raised in the Northern Rivers in the small beach towns of Yamba, Woopi (Woolgoolga) and Brooms Head with my mum and spending much time on the Gold Coast / North Queensland with my father, I grew up loving the beach and nature. I wanted to protect nature from the destruction I saw we were doing to our world. I didn’t know how to do this as a 16 year old kid. My instinct told me I would work this out somehow...... 

I love animals and originally wanted to be a vet to take care of animals. A dislike of blood ruined that career option (doh!). Then I wanted to be a Park Ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. I realised that there were limited job opportunities in that area and most people wait 15 years to get those jobs. That seemed kind of impossible to get into at my young age. I ended up studying International Business at QUT in Brisbane and did volunteer work on the weekends. Doing business stuff during the week to fund my passion kind of worked, but not really. My spirit felt satiated, but not truly alive. I didn’t know how to make the money to do wildlife conservation in a way that was focused on abundance and growth, not "selling bad news / focusing on doom and gloom" of the problems we have. I choose to focus on the vision we desire to create... and take action to create it with other like-minded people like you.

I wanted to feel alive and doing work that filled my spirit. I wanted to wake up with a joy for life. I wanted to bounce out of bed like a cheeky kangaroo ready to tackle the day with a smile……. 

Business and career nonsense

After 17 years of doing executive recruitment of CEOs and other “movers and shakers” with global companies like KPMG, Russell Reynolds Associates and Korn/Ferry International (top 1 and top 4 global headhunting/executive search companies), doing high performance career / mindset coaching and launching a few companies (some wins and failures along the way), it was time to focus on how to recruit thousands of people to work as volunteer custodians for our natural world. The world of big business was great to learn but it did not inspire or excite me whatsoever. 

I founded a social venture called “Melbourne Sustainability Drinks” to connect passionate people together who wanted to create a better world. It was a relaxed and non-cheesy networking event for business types in the environmental and sustainability sectors. It scaled fast nationally and the brand /platform and valuable database of members was sold to a green lighting company. Lots of fun. 

On a random note, I still hold the world record with a group of mates for the “World’s largest Green Drinks Party” in 2008. This was a big party with tunes for people who care about the environment and like having fun. It’s amazing what you can do in 6 weeks and with a conviction to succeed fuelled by passion for something. Imagine if you and your mates had a party and 2,300 people showed up to party with you. Epic.... We made some ace money for charity on the night. We kind of forgot to ring the Guinness World Records people though..... Lots of fun.. 

Work for the soul

I gave myself a big forehead slap in 2019 and fully committed to my life’s work. The time was now to step up to my full potential and use my life experience and gifts for what I really wanted to do - wildlife conservation. 

I signed up as a volunteer with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and became a Park Ranger to care for kangaroos, koalas and many more animals. I joined the oldest environmental regeneration group in Byron called "Green & Clean" who have been taking care of the Byron beach-front as local custodians for 25 years. 

The idea of custodianship really inspired me. The Green and Clean team have been custodians for a part of Byron Bay for 25 years. The Arakwal mob have been custodians for this area for over 50,000 years.

It got me thinking. How about we all find a bit of Byron (or our local area) and be a custodian and care for it?

But let's make it fun and bring a positive and abundant mindset to it. More positive action with laughter and smiles. 

I got involved in many other local organisations as a volunteer to do beach clean ups, bush regeneration work and started working on organic farms. I realised I had lots to learn but was having fun meeting amazing people who I could learn from. 

I met over 30 community groups who needed two things - volunteers and more money. I decided to deliver both volunteers and money to these organisations and make it fun for all of us. 

A new way of doing things

My heart and instinct told me that I could find a way to make money to protect our planet and bring more laughter, fun and an abundant mindset to our environmental challenges.

I have an absolute conviction that our team can do this.

I set up Byron Rangers to do this and put my money and reputation on the line to make this happen. We are doing this. A few mates jumped on board and a few hundred others loved the concept when I tested it in Byron in the last 6 months after we launched. 

Our vision is to inspire everyday surfers, mums and dads, kids, backpackers, visitors and corporate volunteers to help us protect the beauty of Byron Bay. 

Vision for 100,000 Rangers as custodians for the Byron Shire

We need 100,000 volunteer Rangers to work on projects and have a laugh along the way. There are 10,000 or so Byron locals (and 30,000 or so in the greater Byron Shire) but we are lucky to have over 2 million visitors come to Byron each year. We just need a bunch of these locals and ace visitors to come and join as Rangers to help us on some great environmental projects. 

There is much to do. 

It is easy and fun if we all do 1 project per month for 2 - 4 hours each. 

Imagine if we all did this once a month, had a laugh doing it and met some ace people along the way? 

Imagine what we can create together? Imagine how much better we can make our world when we have fun and work together? 

Let’s do this. Find a fun project that suits your passion and availability. 

Join as a Ranger.

I wanted to be a Ranger as a kid and am doing this now. So can you. You don’t need special skills, just a positive attitude and some time to contribute.

If you live outside of Byron, then you can help us fund the conservation work by buying a T-shirt or other products/experiences and giving these items as a gift. 

We will be expanding to other parts of Australia and overseas beyond 2020 once we are ready. 

Smiles from Byron

Ranger Deano