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Meet the 2019 Inspiring Explorers

It is with much excitement that we can now announce the team that will be heading to the Antarctic Peninsula next month on our 2019 Inspiring Explorers' Expedition with Olympic kayaker Mike Dawson!

They are accomplished photographer Alexander Hillary (Sir Edmund Hillary’s grandson); living kidney donor and freelance camera operator Leah Stewart; Wellington communications specialist and mum Rosanna Price; Christchurch learning advisor Georgina Archibald; and photographer and sound specialist Marco de Kretser, from Auckland.

Inspiring Explorers 2019: Leah Stewart, Alexander Hillary, Marco de Kretser, Rosanna Price and Georgie Archibald. Image courtesy of the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The group will join two students and a teacher from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate on the expedition in March. The group will travel to the Antarctic Peninsula from South America aboard a One Ocean Expeditions vessel. 

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate PE teacher Caragh Doherty will accompany Year 13 students, Mele Fetu’u and Lana Kiddie-Vai who were selected to join the expedition late last year under a new partnership between the Trust and the Collegiate. The agreement was inspired by the connection they both share to iconic New Zealander, and the Collegiate’s namesake, Sir Edmund Hillary.

Inspiring Explorers Lana Kiddie Vai, Mele Fetu'u and Caragh Doherty. Image courtesy of the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Expedition leader and Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson says once there, the team will go kayaking under guidance from One Ocean’s experts and Mike Dawson, which will be an exhilarating experience.

“They’ll paddle between icebergs and through the pristine playground of whales and seals taking in the sights of Antarctica including penguin colonies and historic bases. It’ll be beautiful but not without its challenges.”

“Antarctica has the power to change lives. Such a close and personal experience with Antarctica allows them to connect with the legacy and spirit of exploration. It’s about inspiring a new generation of explorers.

Nigel says the 2019 Inspiring Explorers’ team is an incredible one, and each person will have the opportunity to grow.

“Our Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition programme is about encouraging young people to connect with the spirit of exploration. We ask each team member to share their story to inspire others to explore too. It’s about getting young people out of their comfort zone, off their devices and into the world around us.”

Mike Dawson, who has kayaked in some of the world’s most extreme waters, says this expedition will be unlike anything he’s ever experienced.

“Antarctica is an exciting, unpredictable and harsh environment, but this is a chance to get to know its history, its wildlife, science and its importance to the world today. I can't wait to share this journey with a group of young enthusiastic explorers who are at the start of their adventuring lives.”

This is the fourth Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition, and follows last year’s successful 560km crossing of the Greenland ice cap, the summiting of Mt Scott in 2017, and the crossing of South Georgia island in 2015.

Read more and follow the expedition on our dedicated Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition website.

Updated on 7th March 2019