Rebecca founded the Plastic Free July campaign in 2011 which evolved into a global movement that in 2019 empowered 250 million people across 177 countries to reduce and refuse single-use plastics.
With over 25 years’ experience in environmental and waste management, community engagement and sustainability, Rebecca has explored the problem of plastic waste through working in the waste industry, taking part in marine debris research expeditions and was one of the pioneers in the waste avoidance conversation.
From advising governments on plastic waste reform, to working with businesses and engaging with local communities, Rebecca believes we can all be part of the solution to the global waste problem and shares stories of change as an author, speaker and media spokesperson.
Jemma is a Marine Scientist from Australia who is passionate about conserving and protecting ocean ecosystems, and restoring those that are damaged. Having spent plenty of time at sea conducting ecosystems research over the past 15 years, she has witnessed the marine plastics crisis worsen and a notable change in the sheer volume of plastics now in our reefs and mangroves. Jemma is also a strong advocate for seeing increasing participation of women across STEMM, but particularly in Science, and frequently presents and talks to school-aged girls about science professions and what is possible, with the hope of empowering them and motivating them to pursue a career traditionally reserved for the boys.
Entrepreneur, Ethical Investor & Chartered Accountant
Jenny lives in the Redlands, Brisbane in Queensland Australia. She studied Commerce at the University of Queensland, undertook post-graduate studies at QUT & is a Chartered Accountant. This training and discipline has equipped her with an ethical analytical mind and keen problem-solving skills. Jenny utilises her corporate networks to create awareness in her community of eXXpeditions’ mission, and to inspire and influence others to #BeTheChange and #SaveOurBeesTreesSeas.
Together with her husband Neil, she invests in companies that can make a difference for our planet. In her current role as an Investor in Our Eco Clean, she has joined the #IQuitChemicals movement and is applying her skills to the company’s circular economy journey and global expansion. Working both upstream and downstream in Our Eco Cleans supply chain, she enjoys finding ways to make a difference for customers, suppliers, communities and our planet. She also sits on the Fast Moving Consumer Goods committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.
A keen sailor, scuba-diver and kayaker, the ocean has driven Jens key decisions and has shaped her life journey. Her Great Grandmother sailed to Australia alone as a very young immigrant, her Great Aunt was a war-bride and one of her ancestors was an early Sydney-Hobart competitor….Jen has inherited their adventurous spirit! At home, she loves quality time with her supportive husband Neil (also an entrepreneur and musician) and her close family & friends. She also enjoys being a whippet-slave to a much-loved family pet, Sierra!
PhD Candidate & Community Waste Practitioner
After spending 14 years in the travel and tourism industry, in 2003, Nicole had a life-changing experience when she left Sydney for a year of travel. After seven months traversing Central and South America, Nicole arrived in the Caribbean island of Barbados. After volunteering for two months at the Barbadian environmental education non-governmental organisation, Future Centre Trust, Nicole was invited to continue her work for two more years. Two years turned into eight, with Nicole eventually leading the organisation, spending much time on solid-waste related projects including recycling.
Now Nicole’s main focus is finishing her PhD at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Her thesis analyses the generation and management of plastic food and beverage packaging material in the context of small island developing states.
Based on her unique experience, Nicole joined WasteAid as an Associate in December 2018. WasteAid works in parts of the world where there are no or limited waste management services. Through her eXXpedition experience, Nicole plans to highlight the work of WasteAid to improve plastic management in developing countries, preventing the flow of plastics into the world’s ecosystems. Nicole thanks WasteAid for their support in promoting this journey.
Connecting her travel and sustainability passions, Nicole has also worked part-time with EarthCheck since 2014. EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism and is focused on sustainability of the industry. Nicole is grateful to EarthCheck for its financial sponsorship of her eXXpedition participation and welcomes others to join EarthCheck in this endeavour!
Nicole plans to use her wide-ranging interests, experience, and her eXXpedition research journey to change the way we value plastic, collecting and capturing it wherever possible, and to #useplasticbetter.
KATIE is an Australian born artist working across various media including video, installation and interactivity and app development. Katie is interested in the experience of time, the intangible and the natural environment and playing with contradictions within the act of seeing and looking. Katie explores this idea through the history of the moving image, psychology, computing, climate change and cosmology. She has a particular interest in the intersection of science art and is hoping to integrate her work and her experience with eXXpedition.
Katie lived on a riverboat that ran trips for tourists between the English cities of Bath and Bristol and therefore has experience on the water and general water safety training. She is now looking forward to expanding into the world of coastal sailing on board RV Sea Dragon with eXXpedition.
ANA is an Energy and International Lawyer and a Law Lecturer at the University of Dundee.
She advises governments, financial institutions and companies around the world on EU law, International law and Energy law. Having worked for a decade for the large US and UK law firms she set up her own law firm in London eight years ago.
Unlike traditional law firms Ana puts teams of lawyers and other experts together to create tailor-made teams for each specific project. Her practice spans the EU, Eastern Europe and CIS countries. She has worked in Africa in the past as well.
Ana has been passionate about Gaia ever since she studied tree dieback in Central Europe and the effects of the raise in sea temperature on marine plankton in the Gulf of Trieste at the United World College of the Adriatic.
She loves sailing scuba diving and hiking in the mountains. She is a trustee of Resurgence/Ecologist magazine.
Ana has been fascinated by the Amazon since she was a little girl watching David Bellamy’ s nature programmes. She wanted to grow up being just like him. She was reading Jay Griffiths book “”Wild”” when she learned about the eXXpedition. She immediately applied and could not believe her luck when she was selected.
Having spent all her summers in the last decade on a remote island off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia which was littered in plastic and other rubbish she has become acutely aware of how polluted the world’s waters are. The trip to the Amazon will give Ana an opportunity to study the issue of water pollution first hand. Ana hopes to use this first-hand knowledge to help draft international treaties and domestic legislation to better regulate the production, disposal and reuse of plastic.
BARBARA graduated in Biological Science, has a Masters in Bio-Medicine, a PhD in Microbial Ecology and I she is currently a research fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE).
HIE’s diverse portfolio of research is renowned to bring excellence to decision-making in natural and managed ecosystems centring on ecosystem functioning in Australia and internationally. In a changing world, Barbara aims to understand the effects of rapid change in altered ecosystems and on the communities of living organisms ranging from the smallest microbes to the tallest forest trees.
On the Sea Dragon research vessel, she will use an automated microbial sampling and communication device (OSMO) developed by Indigo V Expeditions. The Indigo V Expeditions is a multi-national scientific and sailing initiative based that aims to gauge the health of the worlds’ oceans by taking water samples and looking at the relative health of the microbial communities in that sample.
Since 2013, Indigo V Expedition is effectively crowd-sourcing the collection of oceanographic data by harnessing the existing fleet of private sailing yachts. Their work has been awarded by the UNESCO, NBC news, Australian Research Council and presented in the most prestigious venues around the world. The data collected by Barbara in the Amazon eXXpedition will be coupled with the ones collected by Indigo V Expeditions across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and the Amazonian terrestrial ecosystems.
Vinuri has always been drawn to the ocean and water since she was young. She has engaged in all water sports in school which includes swimming, rowing and water polo. Now, she is a 4th year Uni student studying her honours degree in Bachelor of Science- Marine Biology at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She was born and raised in Sri Lanka and moved to Australia for her studies. As a dual citizen of both countries she wanted to tackle the oceanic plastic issue in both her countries to her best ability. Therefore she decided to investigate microplastics in small filter feeding fish in Sri Lanka and Australia for her honours year research project. Through the dramatic and scary results she has been finding, she wants to raise awareness and try and reduce the oceanic plastic problem in both her countries.
She decided to be apart of the eXXpedition crew to help solve the global oceanic plastic issue and contribute to this vital journey.
Chair Surfrider Foundation Australia (Voluntary); International Flight Attendant / Qantas Airways (Part Time); Director of Planet Childcare
“I believe that we all live downstream and whatever actions we take now to protect our oceans, will benefit future generations. We are all one ocean and every positive action that we do will ripple out in a positive way”.
Susie is an environmentalist, mother and the first female Chair of the Surfrider Foundation Australia. Her role at Surfrider is in a voluntary capacity as she has a strong passion for protecting and conserving Australia’s oceans, waves and beaches. Her day jobs include being an international Flight Attendant and also a Director of a Preschool that she built for her children 22 years ago. Susie sits on three ‘not for profit’ environmental boards and spends her spare time organising beach cleans, campaigning for the ocean, and organising events that involve educating the community about keeping our oceans clean and preserving marine ecosystems. Susie enjoys connecting with like minded people and presenting at conferences.
Science Communicator and Model
Laura Wells is an Environmentalist, presenter and one of Australia’s top curvy models. Holding degrees in both Biology and Law, qualifications in Environmental management systems and currently studying a Diploma of Paramedical Science; Laura’s passion for the environment, love for the ocean and interest in facilitating climate change action has led her to become a positive role model, advocate and ambassador for change.
Laura is currently presenting shows for National Geographic and working with environmental organisations and corporations to promote sustainable and ethical choices.
Laura believes in the importance of educating people not only on the issues, but focusing on solutions, to empower individuals to create change. Whether this be in their personal sphere around the relationship with their body and who they are, or the impact their actions have on the environment; fostering behavioural change can facilitate improvements in environmental and human health simultaneously.
Food Security Manager and Sustainability Teacher
Katlin was born and raised in Toowoomba, Australia. She studied at the University of Queensland and gained a dual degree in Economics and Geography.
She currently lives and works in the Bahamas at a not-for-profit called The Island School. This school offers high school students a semester abroad where they learn outside of the normal classroom. They join research projects, study marine ecology while scuba diving and explore nature through camping expeditions. Her role within this organization is to lead a research class and she is also the Food Security Manager. She oversees the operations of the aquaponics system, permaculture farm and runs the local farmers project. Their goal is to help reinvigorate agriculture within the Bahamas to help support the local economy, reduce our carbon footprint and allow fresh local produce to be more affordable.
She is also currently working towards obtaining her dive master certification and love anything in the ocean such as freediving, kayaking and boating. The ocean is her happy place and something she is very passionate about protecting.
Writer and Producer
Sally grew up in a mining town in the red desert of Western Australia and it took half her lifetime for her to discover her love and affinity for the ocean but she hasn’t looked back since. An occasional sailor, a qualified deckie, an AOW diver and an adventurer plotting to buy her next boat, she is based in Sydney but travels regularly for her day job.
Sally is an award-winning independent content creator and TV producer, making documentaries and children’s factual and comedy-drama. Her most recent projects have focused on delivering entertaining shows for 9-14 year olds that encourage discussion on sustainable living, climate change, caring for the oceans and taking action to save the planet. Her now adult son lives with his partner in Bologna, Italy.
Rachael is an honours student with a bachelor in environmental management. Her dream is to make food systems sustainable and reduce our impact on this earth.
Rachael recently relocated to Far North Queensland to live near the reef and explore more of this beautiful country while spreading awareness on a sustainable, low to zero waste lifestyle!
Founder and Director of Ten Little Pieces
Ali is the founder of Ten Little Pieces, an empowerment movement for ordinary folks to make a big difference to the places they love by collecting ten little pieces of rubbish, anytime, anywhere, especially with children involved. This starts conversations regarding conscious consumerism, environmental stewardship and a rethinking of our concept of waste.
She spent her pre-motherhood life sailing the world onboard super yachts and has a deeply held respect and concern for the health of our shared oceans which she combines with a passion for the education of children in regenerative concepts and closed loop systems.
“It’s an honour to be selected as part of the eXXpedition crew to contribute to world leading science along side so many extraordinary women all committed to advocating solutions to the devastating environmental and health impacts of plastics and toxics in our oceans”.
Nancy developed a love for nature at a young age sparked by family trips to the coast and into the Australian wilderness. This led to a passion for scuba diving, sailing, and hiking. She holds a PADI Advanced Open Water certification and RYA Day Skippers qualification. She also developed a fascination in flight early on and so began a career as a pilot. During this career she has been involved in safety management and completed a Masters in Science and Technology. After a few years working and studying in a male-dominated industry she was inspired to help other women break down barriers. She became involved with a mentor and sponsorship program to help educate rural girls in Uganda. Through her visits to Uganda, she learned that education was the key to promote lasting change to an entire community and not just for the individual.
While she loves being outdoors immersed in nature, she became increasingly concerned about how much waste littered the earth and was devastated by its effect on wildlife. In a bid to reduce her environmental footprint, she made changes to her daily habits and, as her work involves traveling, she began studying Ecotourism. Still wanting to do more but unsure how she stumbled across an article about eXXpedition. She then obsessively read all she could find out about it. A vital cause championed by women with a fact-finding, solution-driven and educational based approach with sailing thrown in the mix. She just had to apply and is so excited to be on board. Nancy is hoping she can contribute to the research, find solutions and bring that knowledge back to her community to help make the “unseen seen”.
Katherine is an ocean paddler, swimmer, scuba diver and marine scientist who has been passionate about marine conservation from an early age. Traveling is her other great love, and she has been exposed to many fragile and remote marine environments over the years but has never seen one untouched by the impacts of ocean plastics and waste.
Her career in environmental risk management and her water-based hobbies, together with a love of writing and public speaking, are what is driving her to participate in eXXpedition. She hopes to use her passion and skills to further explore the extent and impact of ocean plastics, and to communicate and educate others through her work and recreation to help everyone to reduce their footprints.
Mumma, Naturopath and Marine Science Student
Meegan is a passionate mother, environmental activist, health practitioner and marine science student. Meegan was taught at a very young age to love and respect our oceans and has always had a strong connection to the ocean growing up in nature, surfing and camping at the beach while living holistically- in harmony with our body and our environment.
She is passionate about ocean conservation and regeneration. Meegan spends most of her time engaging and educating her community about marine debris, the harms of plastic pollution and ocean conservation through Coastal Warriors Mid North Coast.
Meegan is ever the optimist and feels inspired to be the change the world needs and to teach her children, and other youth that together we have the power to make change for Mother Earth.
Meegan is thrilled to become apart of the solution based team that eXXpediton has created and can’t wait to share her experience with the world.