Malcolm grew up in Melbourne, and completed a science degree with first class honours, majoring in marine and terrestrial ecology and conservation, at the University of Melbourne. After graduating, he joined Australian Marine Ecology – a private consultancy – where he participated in or led projects for industry, community and government clients. The projects ranged in size from small to million-dollar assignments. After a string of overseas volunteer roles, Malcolm did an internship at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands, where he assessed coral health. He then completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, focusing on the biological oceanography of Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. He moved to Broome in 2012 to become one of two coordinators of the Kimberley Nature Project. Malcolm sees the work of EK as very important and says he took up the role because he was ‘interested in helping to protect the species and ecosystems of the Kimberley in a way that was supportive of Indigenous culture, knowledge and rights’.