Following our inaugural Virtual Voyage to Tonga at the start of the year we journeyed through the South Pacific on a series of immersive learning experiences connected to Fiji, Vanuatu and Australia. Taking part were 41 women from 17 nationalities who came together bringing their own unique superpower and area of expertise “on board”.
The crew also took part in a waste management survey in their local area, as part of an ongoing research project in partnership with the University of Georgia. Recording their litter on the Marine Debris Tracker App, our virtual voyage crew picked up over 3,904 pieces of plastic debris across eleven different countries.
Members of our Virtual Voyage crews conducting a waste management survey
In Watch 5 of each voyage the crew were joined by local stakeholders, including representatives from NGOs, community leaders and government departments for a “Dialogue” session to discuss how the plastics issue is affecting the island nations, and solutions from sea to source.
Joining the conversation were representatives from Commonwealth Blue Charter, Conservation International, Eco Conscious Fiji, Matanataki, Fijian Government, Vanuatu Clean, Vanuatu Conservation, World Vision, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and the Australian Government Plastics and Packaging Food Waste team.
Completing an eXXpedition Virtual Voyage is just the beginning for this crew who have gone on to join our community of Ambassadors creating change.
eXXpedition Virtual Voyage Fiji – Crew
Alex USA works in corporate sustainability for a large tech company and is going to use her voice to drive change in the private sector, using citizen science as a route to awareness.
- Celine SINGAPORE is an ocean conservationist at the World Bank who is going to raise the profile of this issue in her local and work communities.
- Katie BELGIUM is a communicator and connector who is going to use her voice to drive change in schools, conferences, politics and business.
- Lynne UK is an award-winning interior designer and social media guru who is going to use her platform ‘Warriors on Waste’ to drive change with the younger generation.
- Marjan BELGIUM is an artist and photographer who is going to use her creative skills to further her impact in this space.
- Nicola UK is an architect who is going to seek nature-based solutions in her work.
- Pippa UK is a communicator and strategist who will drive change by using her expertise to advise industry on circular economy practices.
- Sibel TURKEY is a communicator and lover of learning who is going to use her voice to raise awareness in Turkey.
- Taylor USA is a scientist who is going to push the boundaries of cutting-edge research and advocate for a zero-waste future.
- Tharaka GERMANY is a marine biologist and expert in Marine Protected Areas who is going to use her expertise to advocate for change in the Caribbean.
- Tunde HUNGARY is an environmental engineer who is going to find a sustainability role within engineering.
Mission Leader Sally Earthrowl takes the crew through our science programme
eXXpedition Virtual Voyage Vanuatu – Crew (a one day version of our Virtual Voyages).
- Christina VANUATU is a veterinary surgeon and conservationist who plans to keep the conversation going with all the different actors in Vanuatu to make sure funds coming into the country are well spent.
- Vinuri SRI LANKA is a student who will learn more ways to better communicate science to the community.
- Erika USA is a yoga teacher who plans to educate, inspire and connect kids and community groups towards having a positive impact.
- Louise UK is an environmental educator who is passionate about making a ripple effect by inspiring individual actions regardless of budget
- Paige USA is an environmental steward who wants to create a reusable, returnable, plastic-free take-out container program.
- Melissa CANADA is a teacher who will host informative talks through her social media channels.
- Heidi AUSTRALIA is a policy communicator who plans to work with government stakeholders to develop tangible actions.
- Claire FRANCE is an Illustrator who is creating a comic book about eXXpedition Round the World Leg 8.
- Elle UK is a photographer who will inspire people to think and make small changes through her art and creative visuals.
- Helen UK is a lawyer who will focus on plastic reduction in the supply chain.
- Catherine CANADA plans to use her passion and expertise in education to empower younger generations to take action.
- Nicola UK will use her superpower of storytelling to connect individuals and communities who care about the environment to a central online space where they can discover ideas enabling them to take action and protect their patch.
- Nicole AUSTRALIA is a holistic thinker, and backed by her in-depth knowledge and understanding of waste management systems she will continue to advise and educate on waste management infrastructure and build her platform Use Plastic Better to drive change.
- Stephanie USA is an environmental scientist and will use her engaging leadership style to mentor, educate and advocate for change with her local community.
- Jen AUSTRALIA is an entrepreneur with a passion and ability to lead change within industry, catalysing a team to innovate and effectively change out packaging from virgin to recycled plastic.
- Daniela BRAZIL is a connector using her experience as an environmental advocate to sow seeds to influence change, utilising her experience working with governments to support environmental action in her local community.
- Julie USA is a researcher and networker who is going to use her superpowers to educate and energise her local community to enact change, and work to raise awareness and support harder to reach communities.
- Derya GERMANY is a geologist who seizes opportunities to capture data and influence change, educating and inspiring the next generation of scientific researchers.
- Clara SWEDEN is an economist and plans to utilise her unique position working in government to develop and bring understanding of the financial implications of plastic mismanagement to the conversation to influence change.
Infographics from our Virtual Voyage clean ups
We can’t wait to see them take action!
If you’d like to delve a bit deeper into what happens on a Virtual Voyage you can read the diary of crew member Susanna Mitterer who joined Virtual Voyage TONGA on our blog here.