The Expedition Professionals
Our staff are what sets Earth Trails Expeditions apart from the rest. The team are former military, emergency service, risk analysts, adventure travel specialist and explorers who are recruited based on skills, experience and character.
Our executive structure is comprised of two Managing Directors jointly governing the operation and the development of the Earth Trails movement. The expedition staff (made up of Expedition Planning Mangers, Expedition Leaders and Expedition Assistants) are the tip of our spear.
We all share a common belief that we should strive for positive impact regardless of our background or standing. Our expeditions will awaken the human spirit while positively impacting the people or the places they explore.
MEET OUR TEAM
We will get you lost in the right direction !
STEVE SUNNY WHITFIELD
Steve is an experienced adventurer, expedition planner and expedition leader who who began as a soldier in the Australian Army where he deployed on operations to East Timor (03), Iraq (05) and Timor Leste (06) as well as training in Hawaii, Malaysia and Thailand. In 2006 he completed his first of many foot expeditions in Arctic Lapland followed by a desert tread through the Sinai in 2007. Steve returned home in 2010 and commenced studies in paramedicine. In 2015 he founded a not for profit project that successfully deployed multiple medical teams into remote areas of the Himalayas to provide primary health care to remote communities. Steve is completing a Master of Public Health (polar and remote medicine) and currently holds a Graduate Diploma of Strategic Leadership, a Bachelor of Paramedic Practice, a Diploma of Journalism, Diploma of Security and Risk Management and numerous adventure qualifications including rock climbing, abseiling, scuba diving, skydiving and kayaking. Steve is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and a Fellow candidate for the Wilderness Medical Society. An avid adventurer, climber, surfer and diver, his travels have taken him to over 80 countries so far and he cannot wait to take his two young children with him to experience new places.
Michael has a mixed background that comprises of both military and emergency service. He worked as an Advanced Care Paramedic level II with extended care capabilities and previously worked as a combat medic in an artillery unit who was involved in peace keeping operations in the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. Mick’s extensive travels and compassionate drive has unlocked a desire to extend ongoing healthcare and self-sustainability to regions most in need. This was the catalyst for his heavy involvement in co-founding "The Wild Medic Project", a not for profit project that provides free primary health care clinics to remote communities. Mick has lead medical teams to rural, earthquake affected parts of Nepal as well as remote parts of Timor Leste where he also lead the Trans Timor Trek in 2017. When not leading Mick continues his operational, finance, and risk management roles for other planned expeditions. Mick is a keen explorer, hiker, trail runner, surfer and mountain biker. He holds a Bachelor of Paramedic Science, a Diploma in Paramedical Science (ambulance) and is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Health Care. His work in developing new projects and expeditions that focus on social and environmental uplifting within the communities Earth Trails explore is his main driver for change.
DR KASIA IBRAHIM
Medical Director / Expedition Medic
Kasia is a specialist anaesthetist living and working in north eastern Victoria and she seems to thrive in cold weather, odd considering where Planet Medic are engaged! Medicine has taken her to many corners of Australia as well as New Zealand, Nepal and Papua New Guinea. She works as an Expedition Team Doctor and also is Expedition Medicine Course Trainer internationally and domestically. She has a keen interest in human factors and wilderness medicine and holds Advanced Wilderness Life Support at an instructor level. Kasia holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and is a Fellow of the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. She holds a Level 7 Certificate of Resuscitation, Advanced Life Support (ALS), Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS), Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST), Effective Management of Anaesthetic Crises )EMST) and is a founding member of the Australasian Wilderness Medical Society.
Expedition Planning Manager
Daniel is a former Australian soldier who served in the infantry core with esteem. During his service Dan was involved in three operational tours of duty which also included Timor Leste (2007), Iraq (2008) and Afghanistan (2010). Dan served as a combat medic on multiple occasions and is an off track navigating gun! Since leaving the defence force Dan settled on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where he lives with his wife and young son. Dan was the first successful candidate of the Soldiers and Geography program and in his spare time he enjoys surfing, gardening, trekking, fishing, travelling and reading. Dan slots nicely into our environmentally sustainable values as he has a particular interest in this area and employs permaculture principles on a small scale organic garden throughout his home.
Shelly is a former adventure guide who spent the first part of her life independently traveling and exploring the globe. During her adventures she touched every continent except Antarctica however this is on her list! Shelly is a little like Jason Borne holding (somehow), three citizenships making travel and international work a little easier than most. She holds a Bachelor degree of Social Science majoring in psychology and numerous certificates in training and education. Shelly is the unsung hero of Earth Trails managing all communications for the team’s preparation, deployment and return. She lives on the Gold Coast with her family and when not in the office, is on her bike!
Adam is an experienced expedition leader that has lead expeditions within Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, South America, Asia and Central Asia for over 15 years. Originally from southern Africa he worked in Australia as the ‘Operations Manager’ of a large expedition company for seven years, he was responsible for the safety and training of all participants and leaders prior to their month long expeditions. He is an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) and the Executive Officer of Survive First Aid, an Australian based Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which specialises in Wilderness and Remote Area medical training and is an Advanced Wilderness Life Support Trainer. Adam holds a Masters of Science and Human Movement, a Bachelor of Sports Psychology, a Certificate IV of Outdoor Recreation and a Certificate IV of Adventure Tourism. Adam has been instrumental in the establishment of the Australasian Wilderness and Expedition Medical Society and is heavily involved in the Avalanche Rescue education in Australia. He loves adventure travel and is an avid skier, mountain biker, paddler and former white water rafting guide who would like to be a better surfer! His travels have taken Adam to every continent except Antarctica and he currently resides down near Australia’s alpine country with his wife and two children.
Rhys is an adventurer at heart simple as that. He served with the Australian Army between 2007-2012, as a rifleman, signaller and as a member of the regimental police, however life took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma (cancer) in 2009. Following successful treatment, he endeavoured to not only push himself to mental and physical limits, but also provide inspiration and help to others along the way. He has journeyed extensively in the high Himalayas on a number of climbing expeditions as well as scaling Mont Blanc, Mera Peak and the 5 summits of Ecuador, all in the name of charity where his personal efforts have seen tens of thousands raised for local charities. Rhys works as an Advanced Care Paramedic level II and holds a Bachelor of Paramedic Science, a Diploma of Justice Studies and a Diploma of Hospitality Management and spends his days exploring the mountains and beaches of his local, The Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
DR BETHAN MCDONALD
Bethan is a general practitioner and travel medicine doctor with a passion for adventure. She worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Sudan, Chad and Lebanon after completing a diploma in tropical medicine.
Her interest in travel off the beaten path lead her to work as an expedition medic on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea (twice!) and focus on preparing travellers for safe and fun adventures at high altitudes and in the depths of the oceans.
She has done courses and diplomas from the Arctic to the jungle (including a few sojourns above 5000 metres) culminating in completing a Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. She now teaches other medics about expedition medicine as staff on courses like Advanced Wilderness Life Support.
Meg grew up on the island paradise of Tasmania which enabled her love for adventure, nature and the great outdoors to develop from a young age. This lead Meg to gain outdoor leadership and expedition medicine qualifications that opened the doors to leading expeditions in remote corners of the world for the past 15 years; from New Zealand, Borneo, Mexico, central Australia, India, to Antarctica. Meg has a Bachelor in Exercise Science and a Masters of Physiotherapy specialising in paediatrics and in private musculoskeletal practices. She has completed placements in Indigenous communities of Arnhem Land. She speaks Brazilian Portuguese, has studied yoga in India, worked with Gibbons in Laos, taught in a Himalayan village, snowboarded in Japan, learnt to horse-whisper in Portugal and sang to the stars on a mountain top in Mexico. Her smile is biggest when she is close to the ocean, whether surfing, floating, sailing or skimming stones."
Mat is from a farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales where he acquired a love for the outdoors and adventure at a young age. With a backyard like the Snowy Mountains Mat has always had a keen interest outdoors pursuits including kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, camping and off road driving. He has worked as an outdoor adventure guide in Canada and has previous experience facilitating multiday expeditions down white water rapids and flat water. He currently works as an Advanced Care Paramedic in Queensland and has found through his involvement in expeditions he can combine his two major interest, emergency medicine and adventure. Recently Mat returned from volunteering his skills on a humanitarian expedition an also working on the Expedition Medicine Course in Nepal. Currently based in central Queensland, Mat relishes the opportunities to explore the colder climates and climb amongst mountain giants.
Kerryn is an Intensive Care Paramedic with over 16 years’ experience. He currently works as a solo officer in a remote community in the North East of Victoria near the NSW. In 2012 Kerryn travelled to North America to investigate formal medical response systems in remote and wilderness environments and has been instrumental in the establishment of the Ambulance Victoria's paramedic wilderness response program. He is the owner and Director of RescueMED, a wilderness medical company and through partnerships, introduced the Advanced Wilderness Life Support to Australia. Kerryn is also a founding member of the Australasian Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society (AWEMS) and the first appointed AWEMS president. In his spare time Kerryn can be found skiing the Victorian high country or hunting.
Dean is an expedition leader with a very keen interest in remote health care and wilderness medicine. He is a paramedic with a background in biological studies who has been working in the private health care sector and humanitarian operations since his graduation. In addition to teaching international wilderness medical courses Dean has lead humanitarian expeditions to rural Nepal in an effort to deliver primary healthcare access to remote communities. Dean hold degrees in Biological Science and Paramedic Practice as well as Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) and the National EMT Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support. In a previous life Dean participated in exercise science laboratories observing how aerobic exercise affects low birth weights. Dean is an explorer at heart and keen to impact prehospital health care through his future expedition endeavours.
Lee is a former Sydney sider who spent ten years working in the hospitality industry at all levels from washing dishes to assistant manager of a restaurant in Circular Quay. In 2010 she took a leap of faith and decided to apply for university and surprised herself by being accepted in the first rounds! She successfully completed a dual degree of nursing and paramedicine and is currently working as a full-time paramedic in Queensland as well as a part time registered nurse. Recently Lee has focused her interest on expedition medicine and working in austere environments both in the exploration an humanitarian heath care environments. She is currently completing graduate level studies in emergency health.
Bronny is an all-rounder that has experience in law, health, and education. Her career began in primary education before she served with the NSW Police Service in general duties and Child Protection. She made a quick return to teaching before venturing into the paramedic world, studying with the Queensland Ambulance Service and later post graduate study with Monash University wher she obtained a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Health. In 2016 she worked as a clinical leader on a humanitarian mission in Nepal and now has continues to provide support assisting with project development. Originally from Coffs Harbour she has worked in Canberra, Brisbane and outback Queensland and has now settled where it all began, on the mid north coast. Nepal is one of Bronys favourite destinations .
Expedition Medic / Assistant
Genevieve is a paramedic from New South Wales who has worked in the high Himalayas on expeditions previously completing both an expedition medicine course and basic wilderness life support course concurrently where she has also been responsible for facilitating clinical scenarios, search and rescue and remote medical care. She has completed a Bachelor of Paramedicine and currently enrolled in a Master of International Public Health. She has worked in volunteer medical roles as a medic in humanitarian operations as well running the logistical arrangements for Relay for Life. Genevieve’s medical, logistical and altitude experience, coupled with her sense of humour makes her a ray of sunshine in the dark and cold of the high-altitude locations.
Expedition Medic / Assistant
Damo is an advanced care paramedic level II on the Sunshine Coast where he grew up surfing, hiking, cycling and participating in many sporting recreations. Damo shares a wealth of international travel experience after globe trotting as a professional alpine athlete in his twenties, and also travelling internationally as both a snowboard coach, and as a hobby photographer. He holds an ambulance Commissioner’s Achievement Medal for his personal dedication to the Ambulance Legacy Scheme that supports paramedic families in difficult circumstance and the ambulance legacy Jamie Jackway Appeal, where among many other outstanding achievements, he cycled from Brisbane to Townsville riding up to 165 kilometres a day for over two weeks, to raise charity funds. Damo is Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) and Wilderness Fist Aid (WFA) accredited and is continuing to develop both his team management and wilderness medicine speciality. Damo is an energetic and passionate adventurer who calls the Sunshine Coast home.
Jonny is a former soldier turned expedition leader turned academic! As an expedition leader, he enjoys travelling through unique and remote environments combined with engaging people from diverse walks of life and experiencing different cultures. He enjoys the simplicity that comes from being amongst the mountains and the lessons that can be learned from the environment. He is an experienced altitude physical trainer, has a keen interest in jungle and tropical expeditions and is a wilderness first response instructor. John holds a Diploma in Sport, Diploma in Fitness, Certificate IV in Project Management and has recently completed his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Originally from Canberra he now resides in Southern Queensland where when not guiding you will find him climbing, exploring local mountains and training with his trusty dog companion.