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Our team

Ian ‘Thommo’ Thomson

Managing Director / Founder (Australia) – Info@OceanCrusaders.org

Ian founded Ocean Crusaders in 2010 after smashing the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of Australia by a massive 26 days. He used this record to launch the campaign and in turn raising his profile in the community so he could go and speak with people around the world on the issues our oceans are facing.

His passion for the ocean and it’s creatures comes from being on the water and in the water most of his working life. Recovering dead turtles that have died from plastic bag ingestion brings him to tears yet he uses these images and memories to drive this campaign to ensure that no more end up with the same fate.

Annika Thomson (Fredriksson)

IMG_5721Australia/Sweden – Director – annika@oceancrusaders.org

Born just south of Gothenburg in Sweden, Annika grew up on the coastline with her parents teaching her sailing and a respect of the ocean.  She fell in love with the water and wanted more so started diving in 1992 before she became a Dive Instructor in 2003. Moving to Australia soon after, she found her new home on the Great Barrier Reef where she used her passion for the ocean to show tourists the underwater world.   Now an integral part of the Ocean Crusaders team, her primary role is to promote and run our operations in Sweden where she spends 3-4 months a year cleaning the west coast islands.

Mark (Captain Mud) & Maura Harvey

Noosa Management team (Australia)

Mark & Maura have several awards for volunteering to clean up our beaches and in particular the Noosa River and surrounds.  You will often find them in their ‘Canoemaran’ getting stuck into the mangroves and hard to get places, pulling out rubbish that most people would leave behind.  That passion lead them to us here at Ocean Crusaders and they now head up our Noosa regional operations running Paddle Against Plastic events and helping out with other major events such as Double Island Point and Fraser Island Clean Ups.

Trish Finucane

Marketing – marketing@oceancrusaders.org

Trish has been friends with founders Ian and Annika for a very long time, back to the days of the Whitsundays where they have worked together many a time.  She now joins the team bringing with her ample amounts of enthusiasm and skills to help make us look more professional and look after our marketing.  She will be involved in organising events, chasing grants and funding along with keeping on top of our paperwork, which is an important role in a fast growing charity.

Maja Lidsheim-Haak

Sweden – maja@OceanCrusaders.se

Maja has a background of working for large charities such as Save the Children.  With our expansion into Sweden she was the obvious choice as she grew up with Annika around the ocean and wants to help the coast of Sweden be cleaner for all to enjoy, including the wildlife.  Every summer the family head to the West Coast to enjoy the islands and you often see the family picking up debris.  Growing our Swedish branch will be a great project for all and with Maja on deck, we know we are in great hands.

Amanda Gawor

Canada – Canada@OceanCrusaders.org

Amanda is a marine biologist who completed her masters in Environmental Science in 2013.  She met Ian whilst working in the Whitsundays for Wings Diving Adventures where she became even more passionate about the oceans as she learnt to dive, seeing the underwater world in all it’s glory around the Whitsunday Islands and the outer Barrier Reef.  She now takes on the role as our Canadian Representative and is available to visit schools throughout Canada.

Lauren Badenhorst

South Africa – Lauren@OceanCrusaders.org

Lauren’s love for the ocean started when she went snorkeling for the first time, putting her head underwater and seeing this whole other world in front of her was an incredible experience!
Seeing how much trash is in the ocean and the damage we have done to this incredible underwater world is what drove her to make the decision to help clean up the mess that we have made.
Every piece of trash we pick up or bag we fill with trash is that much less trash in the ocean.


Wendy Tuck

Ambassador – wendosailsheaps@gmail.com

Tucky is the first Female to win an around the world yacht race of any kind.  She is still the only female to do so.  She did it in the 2017/18 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race where members of the public can join in on the world tour racing against 11 other one design yachts.  We first Met Tucky in 2010 when we were putting together an attempt to sail around Australia non-stop.  She was to be part of the team before the attempt fell apart at the last minute.  She is an avid supporter of ocean health and is currently sailing the world on ‘Maiden’.  On returning in November 2019 Wendo will head up our Sydney operations.

Andy & Gemma Ross

Ambassadors – peterpanandthemermaid@yahoo.com.au

Andy & Gemma are a passionate couple that are out cruising on their catamaran ‘PAWS’.  You will see the Ocean Crusaders Logos on their cat as they are absolute legends when it comes to getting the word out there about looking after the oceans.  We first met them in the Whitsundays over 10 years ago and their passion continues with Andy recently helping out with our Sunshine Coast operations and Gemma being a vet nurse.  If they ever settle down, you will find them in central Queensland, possibly 1770.  If you see them on the water, drop in and say hello.

Jamie Dunross

Ambassador – dunross@westnet.com.au

What can we say about Jamie. Calling him a dead set legend is just not enough. Jamie smashed the record for the longest distance sailed by a quadriplegic sailor as part of his circumnavigation of Australia……solo. Yes a guy who takes 40 minutes to get to the bow and back on a 34ft boat sailed solo around Australia. More impressive is his time. Whilst he did it with stops, if you only count his on water time he completed the voyage in 57 days, only 15 days slower than Ian’s journey. He is an inspiration to all and has become an ambassador for our campaign.

To learn more about Jamie visit his website www.solo1.com.au