Team - Protect Our Winters - Australia

The Protect Our Winters Australia team are all volunteers.

We are spread across the country working day jobs in and out of the snow industry, some at sea level, some at altitude. But the common thread is, we’re all passionate about protecting winter and we all enjoy a nice pow turn.

Alastair McLeod

Commerce & Operations

As the mercury plummets each year Al trades sun, salt, waves and wind for the alpine. Not often seen but always out there, you’ll most likely find him deep in the woods or scaling a distant peak with his splitboard.

With a background in data science, digital marketing, web and tech development, Al makes the most of the down days catching up on computer work. Don’t ask him exactly what he’s doing though – nerdy stuff that we don’t really understand!

Bogong and the Hotham backcountry hold a special place in Al’s heart, evident when he says things along the lines of spend a night snow camping in the backcountry to see how precious the few wild places we have left are. For Al, working with POW is an opportunity to preserve the integrity of our wilderness and keep the spirit of adventure alive.

Jess Willemse

Community & Education

Jess has been lucky enough to do seasons in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Her memory is full of snippets of tearing past trees feeling invincible, sketchily sliding rails feeling vulnerable, standing under the quiet of falling snow feeling peaceful and reminiscing about past winter seasons feeling like the luckiest person alive.

With such a strong connection to the snow, her background in education and her current study in sustainability, ecology and geography, she leapt at the opportunity to be involved with POW Australia in bringing together like-minded riders to ensure snowy winters will be enjoyed by all for a long time to come. She can’t wait to have you on board and looks forward to protecting winter with you.

Sam Quirke

Partnerships & Policy

Sam has been a winter lover all his life. A turning point for Sam in his climate action journey was living in Annecy in the French Alps, where he came to the realisation that this good thing could one day come to an end. Venturing into the unique Australian alpine in recent years has only accelerated that his need to act.

Sam volunteers his time with POW to focus on connecting with likeminded organisations and helping the POW community engage with policy and politicians for impactful climate action. His day job is as a customer success manager in talent management software.

His best POW turns are a tie between the first time he went splitboarding on a rare 30cm-of-fresh-Spring-Hotham day, and his first-time ski touring in Chamonix.

Omar Elkadi


No matter the season, Omar is probably across what is happening snow wise around the world. A self-proclaimed skiing geek, you’ll find him hounding to the snow whenever possible to get amongst the gums and explore beyond the resorts.

Omar has been involved in the snow industry for a number of years, working at Red Bull, Fatmap and a few cheeky seasons in between. Today he works in Climate Strategy following an Engineering and Masters degree in sustainable futures, as he continues to nerd out on the latest climate science, technology and policy.

His favourite pow-turn is a tie between a deep day in Arai, Honshu in Japan and a long-awaited snow-maggedon through the trees with mates at Falls Creek. For him, POW represents the future of our snowy knife-edge here in Australia and showcases what we can do to preserve our incredible mountain environment, culture and communities.

Miranda Chestney-Law

Partnerships Officer

Although growing up in and around the mountains, Miranda was a relatively late comer to the joys of the snow, strapping on her first board at the age of 28. From that first weekend it was an instantaneous love, and you’ll now find her seeking tree runs at Falls Creek or splitting in the incredible Australian backcountry.

With a background of building strong client relationships across all industries, Miranda is excited to use these skills to help create deep and enduring partnerships for POW as part of the Partnership team. Winter impacts all industries, so it is vital that we bring industry willingly into the arena.

The mountains are Miranda’s favourite playground no matter the season, so working with you to Protect Our Winters and help educate everyone on the small impacts that add to a greater good will help preserve them for those to come.

Bea Owen

Partnerships Officer

Bea has done winter seasons in Australia, Austria, Canada and America. Working in many different resorts around the world, she has experienced the effect of climate change on the snow community.

With a background in the philanthropic and advancement sector (fundraising for medical, health, research, and education sectors), she saw the opportunity to combine her love of the snow and philanthropic knowledge to support a great cause.

Bea hopes there will continue to be many white winters in Australia and share the amazing feeling of floating on snow with her family. As John Muir said, “the mountains are calling, and I must go….”

Lachie Collie

Partnerships Officer

A self-professed powder hound, Lachie has always had a connection to the Aussie Alps. The mountains are more than just a haven for outdoor exploration and exhilaration; they remind us of the intrinsic bond we share with the natural world. It’s this profound realisation, this connection, that has brought Lachie to Protect Our Winters.

In addition to his passion for the peaks, Lachie has long been a dedicated member of the Surf Lifesaving movement, where he learnt the power and importance of volunteerism. Understanding that the fight to protect our winters is a collective effort, he’s committed to fostering a strong sense of community and shared purpose with POW’s vital partners.

Armed with years of professional communications experience, Lachie is well-credentialed for the mission ahead. Ultimately Lachie is excited to work with a diversity of people and partners to ensure future generations can experience the same joy and reverence for the mountains he’s known.

Marlon Holloway

Partnerships Officer

Allow me to introduce you to Marlon, an enthusiastic advocate and fondly known ‘frother,’ who is deeply committed to preserving the splendour of the alps.

Marlon comes from experience leading large university community groups; sharing the magic of the alps to ~400 fellow frothers yearly. When the snow isn’t dumping, he puts on his worker hat as a QA / Data Analyst in the big-tech industry.

The love story between the snowy hills and powder turns was brought upon through favourite memories, best friends and laughter; an incredibly special phenomenon that he has only experienced within the interconnectedness of the Alpine community and culture, a community and environment that we should actively protect and foster for generations to come.

Tenaya King

Policy Officer

Tenaya is passionate about protecting the outdoors, and spends as much time as possible by the ocean or in the mountains. She studied climate science, environmental policy and sustainability at university, and loves working on climate justice and environmental protection. When she’s not travelling or skiing, Tenaya has worked on sustainability campaigns for the music industry, major research projects for Australia’s plan to reach net zero, and environmental and decarbonisation policies for governments.

She’s always looking for the next adventure and would love if the world’s climate change issues could be worked on from a chairlift or a small tent in the Australian backcountry (instead of an office). Tenaya’s best POW turns are perfect spring corn in the NSW backcountry, or the endless fun at Big Sky in Montana – both excellent reminders of how much winter there is to protect.

Sam Beaver

Policy Officer

Somewhere between Sam’s time guiding in outdoor and environmental education through the Vic and NSW high country, skinning up on the 93 north in the Canadian Rockies for a couple seasons and alpine climbing in Patagonia he realised three things he already probably knew:
1. The mountain environments and the communities they create all over the world hold a deep place in his heart; especially the hills he’s been able to call his locals, being the Aussie Main range and Bogong High Plains.
2. These same environments were changing alongside the climate and are under threat, and
3. He needed to help do something about that.
Sam now finds himself spreading his time between his passions of climbing, skiing and being outside in whatever way possible. At the same time, he is working on climate action and environmental connection through his work as an outdoor and environmental educator for school groups and an environmental/climate researcher at ANU.

Volunteering for POW, Sam gets to combine all his favourite things in skiing, helping to protect the planet and being surrounded by a community full of stoke and purpose for the mountain environments he loves.

James Worsfold

Education Officer

As the storms grace the High Country with fluffy white stuff, you may spot James up there with a big grin on his face. Growing up exploring the High Plains on XC skis and hitting the sidecountry til the sun goes down, the Vic Alps hold a very special place within James’ heart.

James’ involvement with POW stems from this sense of place and the urgent need to mitigate the existential threats it faces. He believes that enhancing our knowledge of and connection to the natural world brings great benefit to not only the state of the environment, but also ourselves. With a multidisciplinary education in Science and current studies in Journalism, James is excited to be part of POW’s education and community team, sharing with others a love of the mountains and the many stories they can tell. Ultimately, to have a future where he can continue to ski amongst the snow gums is what drives James the most.

If you ever come across this man in the wild, ask him about his seasons in Australia and Kyrgyzstan, and he’ll share with you tales of horseback skiing and skinning up some gnarly Central Asian peaks, or eagerly try plan his next backcountry mission with you.

Harry Fairweather

Education Officer

Harry was introduced to snowboarding at Thredbo in 2015, and realised pretty quickly he was in trouble; Snowboarding was it for him. 8 years, 11 winters, thousands of muesli bars and hundreds of thousands of turns later, He’s a very lucky guy who feels at home in mountains all over the world.

Deep Japanese soul turns and champagne Kootenay powder will always hold a special place in Harry’s heart, but there is a quality to the Australian alpine that he has never found anywhere else. In the short time he has spent in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains, he has seen the changes that the shifting seasons are bringing there. Believing his adopted home is worth protecting, Harry took a sabbatical from living the dirtbag dream in 2022 to move to Lutrawita/Tasmania to study climate science. He hopes that one day soon he will be working to educate and empower people to tackle the drivers of anthropogenic climate change.

Whilst he might be shackled to a desk at UTAS more than he would like, Harry still makes it up to the NSW Snowys to slide as many skin tracks and burn as many turns as he can, so if you see him around, be sure to say g’day! Until then, carvé diem!

Tom Nicolson

Ambassador Coordinator

Despite living in Queensland all his life, Tom loves snow and has been on skis for most of his life. Still in university, he tries to get away as much as possible to visit snow in Australia and around the world. Within his university life, he helped plan trips with the UQ Ski Society aiming to get newcomers to the sport to fall in love and experience snow for the first time. He is particularly interested in balancing the dichotomy of the negative effects of actually travelling to the snow versus allowing as many people to experience our winters as possible.

Tom hopes that he will be able to make a difference to preserving snowsports in Australia and working with POW ambassadors to achieve their own goals with climate advocacy.