Dk Najibah Eradah binti P. A. M. Al-Sufri Pg M-L Kahar
Era is a 25-year-old Diplomatic Officer at Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs but previously taught Mathematics at a secondary school for 3 years. She is passionate about environmental issues and hopes to use her involvement in the expedition to raise awareness in Brunei of Global Warming and Climate Change. Era will be the first Bruneian to ski to the South Pole.
Representing Cyprus in the Mediterranean is Stephanie Solomonides, a 25-year-old IT Implementation Officer from Nicosia. Endlessly enthusiastic and full of energy, Stephanie hopes that her participation in the expedition will enable her to tell more people about her country as well as inspiring other young people in Cyprus to push their boundaries and fulfil their dreams. Stephanie will be the first Cypriot to ski to the South Pole.
Representing Ghana in West Africa is 29-year-old Barbara Yanney. Barbara was educated in Ghana’s Eastern Region but completed her studies in America. Returning to settle in Accra, Barbara became the youngest magazine editor in the country before turning freelance. As well as inspiring the young women of her country, Barbara hopes to encourage young Ghanaian professionals living overseas to take up opportunities in Ghana. Barbara contracted Malaria shortly before the scheduled departure. She has made a full recovery but, sadly, was unable to join the team in Antarctica.
Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu
Representing India is Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu, a 38-year-old freelance outdoor instructor from Darjeeling, currently settled in Delhi. Reena is an extremely experienced mountaineer, having taken part in, and led, several Indian Mountaineering Federation expeditions in the Himalaya. She hopes to encourage more Indian women to take up careers in the outdoor industry having battled for the right to do so herself. Reena will be the first Indian woman to ski to the South Pole.
Representing Jamaica in the Caribbean is 30-year-old Kim-Marie Spence from Kingston. Kim loves trail-running and travelling, having volunteered all over the world from Japan to Israel. She works and strategizes for a regional think tank and has been involved in a number of other social initiatives. Kim hopes that her inclusion on the team will show other Jamaican women that ‘they have no limits’. Kim will be the first Jamaican to ski to the South Pole.
Representing New Zealand is 36-year-old Kylie Wakelin from Twizel on the South Island. For 16 years she owned and ran a successful boating business in Mt Cook National Park but has recently gained a Commercial Pilots Licence and intends to pursue flying as a career. Through this expedition she hopes to make a difference by bringing new ideas from around the world back to New Zealand. Kylie will be the first woman from New Zealand to ski to the South Pole.
Representing Singapore is Sophia Pang, a 36-year-old mother of three. Sophia combines freelance work as an IT Consultant with instructing aerobics and kickboxing. As well as teaching her daughter to ‘dare to dream and try’, Sophia hopes her participation in the expedition will show other women in Singapore that it is okay to put themselves first sometimes and to go after their own ambitions. Sophia will be the first woman from Singapore to ski to the South Pole.
The team will be led on the ice by 31-year-old Felicity Aston, from the United Kingdom, who is also the founder and chief co-ordinator of the project. Felicity spent 3 years in the Antarctic studying the ozone hole and climate change with the British Antarctic Survey before returning to lead expeditions in Siberia, Greenland and the Arctic. By creating such a diverse expedition team Felicity hopes to encourage greater mutual support among women of the Commonwealth.
Helen has helped instruct the team during training, been with them every step of the way and stepped in to ski the Pole after Barbara (Ghana) was unable to join. Helen is a 43-year old outdoor teacher, expedition leader and outdoor education advisor from the Peak District of the UK. She has completed 'last degree' expeditions to the North Pole and South Pole in 2005 and 2007, and skied across Greenland in 2006. In 2009 she became a Churchill Fellow, researching polar explorers, past and present.
UK Support Team & Kaspersky Lab
The Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition team is much larger than just the 8 women skiing to the South Pole. Behind the scenes is a vast network of people who all play a crucial part in making the expedition happen. As well as a project manager, photographer and support team in the UK, we have the Kaspersky Lab team who provide encouragement and motivation – we like to call them the 9th team member.