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Panellist and artist profiles

LATE: the new explorers

The LATE panellists will be asking what is it that drives the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary, Ernest Shackleton, or Peter Jackson, and can we bottle it?

Kevin Biggar

Kevin Biggar, adventurer and author, was a strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group before he decided to take part in the world's toughest endurance event, the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race, with fellow adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald. The incredible story of Kevin's transformation from couch potato to world record-holder is told in ‘The Oarsome Adventures of a Fat Boy Rower’, which was awarded the Sunday Star Times Sports Book of the Year 2008. His next adventure saw him and Jamie trekking unsupported to the South Pole. Kevin went on to host the popular TV series First Crossings, where he and Jamie re-create some epic local adventures in rugged settings.

Richard Easther

Richard Easther grew up in New Zealand and was educated at the University of Canterbury. After graduating with his PhD in 1994, Richard held post-doctoral fellowships at Waseda University in Japan and at Brown and Columbia Universities in the United States. Richard was a professor at Yale University from 2004 until the end of 2011, and he is now a professor and Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland. Richard’s work focuses on the physics of the very early universe and the evolution of the universe between the Big Bang and the present day.

Jesse Mulligan

Jesse Mulligan is a writer, comedian and TV presenter. Originally trained as a lawyer, he worked in radio for several years before venturing to the UK to take up a career in public relations. As a writer he has contributed to numerous national newspapers and magazines, while on TV he is best known for his work on 7 Days, Seven Sharp and more recently, Best Bits. He lives in Arch Hill with his wife and two young daughters.

Kate Sylvester

New Zealand designer Kate Sylvester’s conceptual collections embody intelligence, witty irreverence, sophistication and modern femininity. Ever the subtle subversive, Kate Sylvester plays off disparate references, seamlessly stitching sportswear with couture, menswear with womenswear, pop culture with history, high art with punk rock. The resulting collections challenge nostalgic sensibilities with modern use of colour, cut and exclusive in house prints. Her unpredictable yet elegant brand of quirk extends beyond an aesthetic to a culture and philosophy that is equally at home in department stores internationally, boutiques and her own concept stores in New Zealand. Kate Sylvester consciously designs for herself and her fiercely loyal client’s lifestyles. These are real clothes for real life.

Jack Thatcher

Jack was 32 when he was asked to train as a celestial navigator. He considers his decision to accept life changing. He has been the navigator for Te Aurere since 1995 and is one of only three navigators in Aotearoa (and a handful across the Pacific) to be recognised as a master navigator by the late Mau Piailug.

Jack is based in Tauranga and is of Ngai-te-Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Porou and Te Aitanga a Hauiti descent. Since joining the Te Aurere whanau in the late 80’s he has accumulated more than 35,000 nautical miles of deep-ocean and coastal voyaging experience.

Bond Street Bridge

Bond Street Bridge began in 2008 as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and songsmith Sam Prebble, and since then the act has evolved into a dynamic collective, recruiting musicians from Auckland’s thriving alt-folk scene. The band’s eclectic and powerful live set has seen them open for a wide range of artists, including The Books, The Willard Grant Conspiracy, Mt Eerie, Don McGlashan and Billy Bragg. Since 2013 the band have been touring with the high-concept and critically-acclaimed show ‘The Explorer’s Club: Antarctica,’ a multi-media set that includes spoken-word storytelling and all-original songs that deal with the trials and tribulations of early Antarctic explorers Scott and Shackleton. The show was described in The Dominion Post as “a perfect evening of music,” and has played to sold-out houses all over the country.