Meet the Team

The Team

Era Al-Sufri

Era will be the first Bruneian – ever – to ski to the South Pole. As far as we know, she will also be the first Bruneian to visit Antarctica.

Why are you doing this?

Era“I am passionate about environmental issues and hope to use my involvement in the expedition to raise awareness in Brunei of Global Warming and Climate Change.  The floods we have been having in Brunei is a wake up call to us that even though Brunei is small we will and can still be affected by Global Warming and Climate Change.  We need to help reduce Global Warming and Climate Change by first addressing our garbage issues (have you seen Sg Akar?!) and secondly by addressing our open burning issues.  We generate 189,000,000 kg of waste a year!  Recently, I have just shopped at a supermarket in the UK and they actually charge you 1p to use a plastic bag.  We need to use reusable bags, go back to paper bags or charge for plastic bags like in the UK.  In 2007 in a space of a month, hot spots partly due to open burnings increased from 25 to 397.  We need action! Brunei is small so we can raise awareness quickly and we have a young population which can adapt quickly. I hope this expedition can be a driving force and make Brunei become an environmentally conscious city state.”  

Describe yourself in 3 words...

‘Conscientious, Outdoorsy, Adventurous’

What role has your faith played in the expedition?

I think faith has played a huge role in the expedition because it is because of my faith that I am doing this. My faith teaches us to always seek for more knowledge and that is exactly what I intend to do. At the same time I hope to use the time alone to memorize and recite prayers. It is an almost a spiritual journey as you have a lot of time to think about your life past, present and future. A lot of people go through life not thinking about their life much because it is an ongoing rat race. People are just too busy.

What is it like to be part of this team?

It’s great like having the older sisters I never had because I am the oldest in my family. In this team I’m the youngest but at the same time you have this feeling of wanting your team to be proud of you and not become the weakest link. Growing up I didn’t have many friends cause my mom moved around a lot so any friends I made would be pointless as I would have to leave them. But now I realised that friendships can span across different cultures, countries and that distance is not a measure of your friendship. With the advances in technology I can be in touch with friends from different countries daily and cheaply.

Where is Brunei?

Brunei is a kingdom on the island of Borneo. Brunei means 'Abode of Peace'.  The population is 381, 371 on an area of 5765 square kilometers.  The climate is hot and wet and doesn’t really have ‘seasons’ because it is so close to the equator. Most of Brunei is covered by primary rain forest and is some of the richest habitat in the world.

Thanks and acknowledgements:

The expedition is extremely grateful for the support of Kaspersky Lab; BAG Networks especially to their CEO Haslina Taib, the Brunei Adventure Recreation Association (BARA) especially to Sulaiman Mahmud (President), Adiman Hj Wahid (Vice President) and Shahiran Sheriffuddin (Secretary) and the Sport Medicine and Research Centre especially to Coach Rana, Dr Danish and Pengiran Sabri Pengiran Mohamad.  We are also very grateful to the Brunei Darussalam Women's Council and Ladies of the Royal Brunei Technical Services for holding Fundraising Hi Teas for us.  From the government, we would like to thank Hjh Norlah from the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports, Hjh Samsiah from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed from the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. To my family and friends thank you for your support.

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Book this team member to speak at your next event ...

The team are available as speakers at events worldwide. All enquiries to Sarah Isherwood at The London Speaker Bureau on + 44 (0)1635 237785 or by emailing


The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent nations that support each other and work together towards international goals of development, democracy and peace. The Commonwealth nations represent a diverse range of cultures, faiths, geographies and social histories from every continent across the globe. Together, the membership represents the interests of over 2 billion citizens - that is 30% of the World's entire population.

You can read more about the work of the Commonwealth at