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Who we are

Eric Assendelft, PhD
Eric is responsible for the management and strategic direction of The Antarctic Office. He has worked closely with stakeholders on the development of the Antarctic City Strategy. He believes Christchurch can be an Antarctic custodian city, embodying the values associated with custodianship: international cooperation, scientific innovation and ecological protection.
Chloë Dear
Deputy Director Public Engagement
Chloë is leading the development of the Office’s public engagement strategy and events programme with our team of Coordinators. Passionate about communicating why we should care about the Antarctic, her challenge is to find ways for us to connect our daily lives to what is happening on the icy continent.
Sue McFarlane
Deputy Director Relationships
Sue's role is building the city’s Antarctic relationships locally, nationally and internationally, including the National Antarctic Programmes based in Christchurch. Sue enjoys connecting people to create new opportunities. She leads the annual Season Opening celebrations and other Antarctic civic and stakeholder events.
Lydia McLean
Public Engagement Coordinator
Lydia is a science communicator. She has worked for the Antarctic Heritage Trust, on IceFest 2014 and is taking the lead on the Climathon NZ project. Most weekends she can be found climbing and tramping.
Esther Last
Public Engagement Coordinator
Esther has an extensive events background, most recently as Programme Manager for the New Zealand Festival. Her focus is the delivery of the Antarctic Season Opening festival.
Andrea Herbert
Public Engagement Coordinator
Andrea has a PhD in Anthropology/Antarctic Studies and a Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies from the University of Canterbury. She is working on the Scott statue reinstatement ceremony and Antarctic Cities Project.