Expedition Team

Inspiring Explorers 2020 - Antarctic Peninsula

credit: Alexander Hillary/Antarctic Heritage Trust

Find out more about our 2020 expedition team

Inspiring Explorers' Expedition Leader Marcus Waters
Inspiring Explorers' Expedition Leader Marcus Waters

Marcus Waters – Expedition Leader

Antarctic Heritage Trust General Manager Commercial and Partnerships

Marcus joined the Trust in August last year and was previously General Manager of People, Culture and Communication at Southland and Otago’s Electricity Management Company. He has spent over 20 years in Human Resource Management and People Development. Prior to working in the corporate world, he was an outdoor instructor and assessor at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuit Centre. Marcus is also an explorer, and with his adventure team in the 2000s, completed a number of world first expeditions. He was the first person to complete an extended sea kayak journey in Antarctica, paddling over 900km from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, past the Antarctic Circle to the base. He is looking forward to sharing the amazing Antarctic environment with the next generation of explorers.

SEHC Inspiring Explorer Jaylee Savage
SEHC Inspiring Explorer Jaylee Savage

Jaylee Savage

17, Auckland

Jaylee’s favourite subject at school is history because she enjoys learning about past events. Jaylee’s other subjects at school are English, maths, chemistry and biology.

Jaylee is interested in travelling the world, meeting new people and seeing new sights. She enjoys most sports and is always up for a challenge. She is quite interested in studying science and learning about marine biology. Jaylee’s career goal is to join the Royal NZ Navy. She hopes this Antarctica trip will increase her knowledge of global warming and how it is affecting our planet.

Jaylee says challenges for her will be being in a cold environment, being unable to talk to her friends and family, communicating with new people, and the kayaking.

SEHC Inspiring Explorer A'aifou Potemani
SEHC Inspiring Explorer A'aifou Potemani

A’aifou Potemani

17, Auckland

A’aifou is very interested in painting, sketching and print-making. He loves being active, playing sport and trying activities he hasn’t done before. A’aifou’s subjects at school are maths, English, visual arts, print-making and geography. A’aifou hopes the expedition will help him gain more confidence and leadership skills, and learn how to face challenges and build resilience.

A’aifou says he’ll be challenged by the cold, the kayaking, communicating with a diverse group of people, and being out of touch with his family. A’aifou is looking forward to sharing his experiences with younger students in the junior and middle schools when he returns home.

SEHC Deputy Principal Shauna Eldridge
SEHC Deputy Principal Shauna Eldridge

Shauna Eldridge


Shauna has more than 30 years’ experience as an educator, and is passionate about providing opportunities for her students to explore, achieve and engage with the wider world.

In 2009, Shauna emigrated from South Africa to New Zealand with her husband, Dave, by sailing around the world on a yacht that Dave built. She learnt more about herself on that trip than all of her previous years of studying and working added together. Most importantly, she learnt how to conquer her fear of storms, large seas, and the unknown.

Shauna believes that travel is the ultimate gift to oneself, and this trip to the Antarctic is definitely a “bucket list” moment in her life. It has always been her lifelong purpose to make a difference in the lives of young people. She wishes to derive from this trip more understanding of what it is that we can do to “save” our world as we know it.

Inspiring Explorer Sadra Sultani
Inspiring Explorer Sadra Sultani

Sadra Sultani

18, Christchurch

Sadra has completed her first year of study towards a bachelor’s degree in law and political science at Canterbury University.

Sadra’s family is from Afghanistan. She speaks English, Hindi and Dari. Sadra is a core member and youth coordinator for the community organisations the Canterbury Resilience Foundation and Who is Hussain? Sadra has led initiatives to encourage women and men in sport through netball and soccer tournaments, and organised an Eid festival for the Muslim community in Christchurch in mid-2019.

Sadra has competed at a national level in dragonboating and her team won the South Island secondary schools’ waka ama competition.

Inspiring Explorer Anzac Gallate
Inspiring Explorer Anzac Gallate

Anzac Gallate

19, Christchurch

Anzac is currently studying towards a bachelor’s degree in geology at the University of Canterbury. Anzac is deeply passionate about the environment.

This year he led a group of students in developing an environmental education programme utilising augmented reality and virtual reality. The programme focusses on experiential learning and active citizenship through modules themed on climate change, biodiversity, deforestation and conservation. Over the 2019/2020 summer he is working full time with support from the University of Canterbury Centre for Entrepreneurship Summer Start-Up programme to implement the programme.

As part of a project through his high school’s student-led Sustainability Council, Anzac and his working group received the Zayed Future Energy Prize, a prestigious global sustainability award. Following the award, Anzac travelled to the UAE to present at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Anzac has recently developed enthusiasm for white-water kayaking, skiing and rock climbing.

Inspiring Explorer Ihlara McIndoe
Inspiring Explorer Ihlara McIndoe

Ihlara McIndoe

22, Dunedin

Ihlara is a Music and Law student at Otago University. She is passionate about public policy, women’s empowerment, and Aotearoa’s relationship with our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

Ihlara has composed music for orchestras and written film scores. She teaches piano, and started a student-driven initiative, called The Wave, which aims to foster young people’s interest and involvement in classical music.

Ihlara is the marketing manager for the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal, and Student Ambassador for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
In 2018 Ihlara was the Head Delegate of the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Ihlara loves skiing, tramping, running, yoga, kayaking and road cycling

Inspiring Explorer Owain John
Inspiring Explorer Owain John

Owain John

26, Wellington

Owain is CEO of Squawk Squad, an initiative that collectively funds sensor connected traps in wildlife sanctuaries. Squawk Squad also provides educational programmes for NZ schools, which have so far inspired more than 25,000 Kiwi kids to take action to protect our unique New Zealand environment.

Owan also co-founded RefillNZ, a single-use plastic water bottle reduction campaign.

A keen outdoor sports person; Owain’s completed the extreme adventure race GODZone, biked the length of NZ, and regularly snowboards and white-water kayaks.

Find out more about Squawk Squad here

Inspiring Explorer Laurette Siemonek
Inspiring Explorer Laurette Siemonek

Laurette Siemonek

Mid-20’s, Wellington

Laurette is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ministry for the Environment. She is seconded to the Office of the Minister for Climate Change, advising on climate change policy. Last year, she graduated from Victoria University with a Masters in Climate Change Science and Policy. Laurette is passionate about environmental policy, and supporting effective climate change action.

In 2016, she was selected as one of nine youth delegates to represent NZ at the 22nd United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco. Last year, she represented NZ at COP26 as part of the official New Zealand Government delegation in Madrid, Spain. Laurette is involved with coaching and mentoring more junior colleagues and Victoria University students.

In her spare time, Laurette is training for a charity boxing event later this year, and loves getting outdoors wakeboarding, kayaking, and hiking.

Mike Dawson
Olympic kayaker Mike Dawson

Mike Dawson

Mentor and Ambassador

Mike is partnering with the Trust as kayaking mentor and inspiring young New Zealander on the 2020 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. Mike is a two-time Olympic whitewater kayaker who grew up paddling local rivers in his backyard in sunny Tauranga, and is now based in Rotorua.

During his extensive career, he competed in the London and Rio Olympic games, as well as in 11 world championships. Slalom canoeing and his thirst for adventure have taken Mike around the globe seeking to challenge the world’s wildest, most remote rivers in Chile, Uganda, Pakistan and beyond.

Mike has mentored young people through his role as an Olympic Youth Ambassador and as mentor on the 2019 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition. He is passionate about inspiring the younger generation to get out, be active, and explore.