A round up of Alumni News from our December 2023 Explorer newsletter.
Isobel Ewing (Inspiring Explorer 2017) and fellow journalist Georgia Merton recently premiered their short film, Inshallah, in Auckland. The 19-minute documentary captures their spontaneous bike trip through northern Pakistan, celebrating the beauty found in unexpected places. From Lahore to Gilgit, they pedalled north along the Karakoram Highway, challenging preconceptions and showcasing the transformative power of exploration.
Ihlara McIndoe (Inspiring Explorer 2020) had a new musical composition premiered at Festival de Royaumont in France, which was recorded and broadcast on Radio France. The piece was for French new music ensemble Ensemble Court-Circuit with soprano Johanna Vargas, and included text by New Zealand poet Hera Lindsay Bird. She also shared some of her compositions inspired by her expedition with the Trust in a lecture at the festival.
The Trust’s former Public Engagement Officer, Melanie Dixon, was recently honoured at the 2023 Storylines Notable Book Awards. Her book New Dawning, the first in a planned trilogy, was recognised as one of the best young-adult books published in New Zealand this year.
Jacqueline Kennedy (Young Inspiring Explorer 2022) is currently focused on preparing for the New Zealand team trial for kayaking, scheduled for early December. Additionally, she is training for the Mount Monster, a challenging 24.5km endurance race at Mount Maunganui, also taking place in December.
Currently working in Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division as a Field Training Officer, Bridget Kruger (Inspiring Explorer 2018) is based at Casey Station and teaches polar survival training, sea ice training and field travel training. Bridget works alongside scientists, ensuring their safety when they are in deep field. This area reminds her a lot of the Greenland Ice Cap from her Inspiring Explorers ExpeditionTM.
Artist Sean Garwood is working on an up-coming exhibition, planned for 2025, that will document Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914–1917). Paintings will include the James Caird, Endurance, South Georgia and many more. This will be a 3-year full time project that has included extensive research and given him the opportunity to engage with some extraordinary people.
Perry Hyde (Inspiring Explorer 2023) has been immersed in a music project for a Radio New Zealand ocean-science show, recently sending the album for mastering, set for release next year. Beyond this, Perry plans to craft a track inspired by his South Georgia experiences, incorporating ice crackling and wildlife sounds he recorded during his time there.
In November, Susanne Rawson (nee Grieve) (Trust Conservator 2009, Lead Conservator 2012) received her PhD in Museums and Heritage Studies from Victoria University Wellington Te Herenga Waka. Her thesis research was partly inspired by her time working with the objects from the historic expedition bases and is titled, ‘Holding Space for Communities in Heritage Practice: Relationships and Management of Underwater and Near Water Heritage in Taranaki, Aotearoa New Zealand’. She is now the Director for Heritage Preservation and Field Support (HPFS) Solutions, the largest private conservation practice in New Zealand.
Following the South Georgia expedition, Gemma Wylie (Inspiring Explorer 2023) has returned to her role as a nurse at Starship Hospital, caring for unwell children. A highlight has been sharing her experiences with the kids, captivating them with tales and photos of the wildlife, particularly the beloved penguins. Collaborating with a play specialist, Gemma is working on a South Georgia display for the ward, featuring photos and wildlife descriptions. Additionally, she is in the process of writing a children’s book centred around a baby king penguin’s journey through South Georgia, with themes of hope, conservation, and teamwork. Gemma’s expedition has reignited her passion for the outdoors, having recently completed the Abel Tasman tramp, with a keen eye on more outdoor opportunities in the future.
Falcon Scott (Trust Carpenter 2011-12 and Grandson of Captain Robert Falcon Scott) is currently in the Antarctic Peninsula, guiding for Poseidon Expeditions as their historian and artist. He will continue on with Polar Latitudes in February and March, in the same role. The remainder of his year will be spent building log framed houses in Argyll, Scotland.
Following her return from South Georgia, Rose Lasham (Inspiring Explorer 2023) recently showcased her artistic talents at the graduate exhibition for her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Whitecliffe Fine Arts School. The exhibition featured ceramic pieces she had been working on throughout the semester.