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About uS

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About us

Our story

Living from our passion

Minibeast Wildlife was created by Deanna and Alan Henderson and has been operating as a leader in invertebrate education in Australia since 2005. We offer services Australia-wide and have an educational base in Melbourne and head office and invertebrate breeding facility in Kuranda, north QLD. The underpinning aim of the business is to promote an appreciation of invertebrates and the critical roles they play in order to stimulate improved conservation ethics in the community.

Minibeast Wildlife has four major components; out-reach education programs, an online shop supplying live captive-bred invertebrates Australia-wide, professional photographic and video services and invertebrate set-building and wrangling for factual media production. Minibeast Wildlife caters for international film crews producing nature documentaries featuring Australian invertebrates. Our credits include some of Sir David Attenborough’s productions and many others. Deanna and Alan Henderson manage Minibeast Wildlife together from Kuranda Queensland and also have a branch in Victoria.

The couple worked at Melbourne Museum from 1999 to 2010. They played key roles in the development of the extremely popular exhibition Bugs Alive! and were responsible for its ongoing operation, and the management of all living displays at the Museum.

Deanna and Alan have both presented at international conferences about live invertebrate breeding, display, and education. They are the authors of Bugs Alive! – A Guide to Keeping Australian Invertebrates, published by Museum Victoria. This book has received a 2008 Whitley Award, and won the 2009 ARAZPA (ZAA) Publication Award. They have authored two other books and produced the Award-winning spider identification app Spidentify.

The founders

deanna-bug-keeping-faq

Deanna Henderson

INVERTEBRATE EXPERT - BUSINESS OPERATIONS - PRESENTER

Deanna has been working with wildlife for over 20 years. She studied zoology at Melbourne University and developed a fascination for small wildlife, namely invertebrates.

 

She was a founding member of the Live Exhibits Unit at Melbourne Museum. During 11 years at the Museum, she was an integral part of the development of the hugely successful exhibition, Bugs Alive!

 

She has presented papers at conferences both nationally and internationally, and also co-authored the award winning book ‘Bugs Alive – a Guide to Keeping Australian Invertebrates’, and more recently ‘There’s a Zoo in my Backyard’.

 

Together with her husband Alan, she founded Minibeast Wildlife in 2005.

alan-henderson-macro-photographer

Alan Henderson

INVERTEBRATE EXPERT - WRANGLER - MACRO PHOTOGRAPHER - PRESENTER

Alan has held a fascination for invertebrates his whole life. His other passion is macro photography and his images have been published in books throughout the world. He has authored the book ‘Minibeasts – True Rulers of our World and the Key to our Survival‘ and co-authored ‘Bugs Alive – a Guide to Keeping Australian Invertebrates

 

Alan completed a BAppSc, Scientific Photography at RMIT University before beginning his zoo keeping career in Ballarat. He created the Australian Nature Education Centre in 1995 and received the Young Australian of the Year Regional Development Award for the Centre.

 

He was lured to Melbourne Museum and began the Live Exhibits Unit, which ultimately led to the development of the extremely popular ‘Bugs Alive!’ exhibition. He coordinated the Unit for 11 years before leaving to operate Minibeast Wildlife full-time. His expertise in working with live invertebrates have taken him around the world, including the jungles of Costa Rica.

 

Meet the team

All Nature lovers

Caitlin Henderson

PHOTOGRAPHER, WRITER, ARACHNOLOGIST

Caitlin has vast experience managing captive invertebrates and finding them in the field. She is an accomplished writer and photographer and has authored numerous nature articles, scientific papers and was the lead writer of the award-winning Spidentify app. She has a strong online following and writes and photographs and photographs ‘She’s got Legs – Australian Spider and Insect Photography‘.

 

Caitlin worked at Melbourne Museum in the highly respected Live Exhibits Unit, and her spider knowledge and husbandry skills earned her the contracts to manage the live spiders in the Darwin and Brisbane Museum legs of the touring exhibition ‘Spiders Alive and Deadly’. Caitlin produces online educational content for Minibeast Wildlife.

Jaimi
McNair

EDUCATIONAL PRESENTER

Jaimi joined the Minibeast Wildlife team in 2015 and is a passionate member of our Victorian Educational Presenter team. She has a very keen interest in the invertebrate field, and keeps and breeds many species of invertebrates at home. Jaimi has worked in various areas of animal husbandry and at Werribee Open Range Zoo as a CSO. Jaimi is also a mum, and has excellent communication skills when it comes to connecting with young children. Conveying passion and connecting children with nature is exactly what underpins our mission at Minibeast Wildlife.

Judy
Neal

INVERTEBRATE SHIPPING

Judy resides in the invertebrate paradise of far north Queensland and has been part of our QLD team since 2013. Judy assists with our weekly dispatch of live invertebrates, which are sent all over Australia. If you have received invertebrates from us in the last few years, chances are that Judy has packed them. Judy also assists in the animal husbandry duties from time, keeping the wide range of invertebrates fed.

Alice
Curry

INVERTEBRATE HUSBANDRY and shipping

Alice joined Minibeast Wildlife Kuranda in 2018. Alice answers many of the email queries that our customers have about minibeasts, assists with animal husbandry, runs educational school incursions and is an integral part of the team on the busy dispatch days when hundreds of live invertebrates depart for new homes around Australia. She studied Zoology, and has worked with the RSPCA both here in Australia and overseas, and also works with Invetus doing veterinary research. Alice is passionate about invertebrate wildlife, and loves to share her knowledge with others.

 

Leilani McGinness

INVERTEBRATE husbandry and SHIPPING

Leilani joined Minibeast Wildlife in late 2021 and lives in the tropical paradise of Far North Queensland.

 

She first volunteered with Minibeast Wildlife in 2018 whilst completing her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – where her love for invertebrates
bloomed. 

 

Since she can remember, Leilani has loved all animals and owns Blue-tongued lizards and a Giant Burrowing Cockroach.

 

She’s currently studying a Certificate in Captive Animals and also works as a guide at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary where she also assists with the management of a large phasmid and katydid display set up by Minibeast Wildlife. 

Diane Desvergnes

MARKETING AND SALES

Diane joined us in 2021 to help us with our branding and marketing.

 

She has had a passion for wildlife and photography since a young age, she has fallen in love with the North Queensland rainforest and lifestyle.

 

Diane works on Minibeast Wildlife’s website, social media and other marketing aspects. She is developing loyalty programs, advertisement campaigns and product/merchandise options for our lovers of invertebrates.

Jeyn
Laundrie

INVERTEBRATE HUSBANDRY and shipping

Jeyn is a life-long arachnophobe turned invertebrate zookeeper who joined our QLD team in 2022. She worked as a funnel web spider keeper at the Australian Reptile Park managing a large collection to assist with the antivenom program.

 

A keen invertebrate keeper both at home and within zoos, she has a passion for educating and changing perceptions about the lesser loved creatures.

 

Now studying a Bachelors of Science in Zoology and Ecology at JCU, Jeyn continues to spend her free time searching for invertebrates in the field and working for Minibeast Wildlife.

Drew with a huntsman spider

Drew Devaney

INVERTEBRATE HUSBANDRY

Drew is the youngest member of our team in Kuranda, and he has been interested in bugs and spiders since he was a toddler. He has kept these animals as pets ever since and joining Minibeast Wildlife was the natural next step. He is a great addition to our team, and his special interest in spiders is perfect as we have so many spider mouths to feed!

Want to join the team?
Check out the available jobs and contact us by email