Tom has extensive experience providing innovative and creative risk and location management solutions to TV and Film in remote and hostile environments.
He has provided risk management solutions, including designing and developing safety protocols and procedures, for large BBC, CH4, Discovery and Nat Geo productions with A list talent shooting in places as diverse as Afghanistan, Republic of Congo, Norway, South Sudan, Nicaragua and British Colombia.
Tom spent six years as an Officer in the Parachute Regiment. On specialist operations in Afghanistan he commanded teams of up to 90 people on high intensity counter insurgency operations.
Tom has lead commercial expeditions that include pioneering tourism into South Sudan, leading a team into the Imatong Mountains. He was central to Secret Compass’s ground-breaking expeditions into Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, leading the first ever mountain bike expedition in the region. He has explored southern DRC, pioneering a route through Upemba National Park, and has led trips in the Darien Gap, mountain biking in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains and ski touring in Lebanon.
Tom has experience of large scale project management and bringing large, diverse teams together to deliver results on time and in budget. His Military and business experience combine to provide a unique insight into what you are trying to achieve and how we can best add value to the project. Tom’s qualifications include Security Risk Management (Level V), Mountain Leader, MTB Leader, Swift Water Rescue and Wilderness EMT. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is passionate about ski-touring, snowboarding, kite-surfing and mountain biking.
Ben is an adventurer, explorer and survival expert who has led over 40 expeditions and projects throughout the world in all environments.
Ben presented the multi-BAFTA winning Serious Series for the BBC, leading groups of teenagers on expeditions to remote and far-flung corners of the globe to achieve world firsts. He has consulted on series such as Mutiny, Planet Earth 1&2, Gold Rush, Human Planet, Oceans, Tribe, Frozen Planet, Last Man Standing, Around the World in 80 Days, Extreme Dreams, Adrenaline Junkie and various Sport Relief Challenges.
Serving in the British Army for 9 years, he spent time in the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. An accomplished mountaineer and polar adventurer, Ben has led expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayas, Rockies and Andes including ascents of two 8000m peaks and a running high level traverse of the Pyrenees in 14 days.
Ben has led security operations to protect wildlife against professional poachers in Central and East Africa developing his love for camels; built eco-lodges and safari camps in Africa and led remote jungle conservation projects where he honed his survival skills amongst the native peoples of Asia, Central and South America. He is also an experienced yachtsman with over 50000 sea miles completing several Fastnet races, trans-Atlantics and building a traditional Arabian Dhow with a friend.
Sally was the BBC High Risk Advisor for Current Affairs and the World Service and deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and the West Bank. She has supported the Natural History Unit’s BAFTA-award winning
‘Blue Planet Live’ in Baja Mexico and designed and delivered the BBC’s ‘Managing High Risk Deployments’ course for senior editorial staff.
Sally is a keen advocate of media safety and risk management, she sat on the Board of Directors for ACOS Alliance and lectures internationally on journalist safety. She has a deep background in crisis and disaster management as an Army Officer, media advisor and Chartered Security Professional along with experience of multiple military operational tours providing emergency medical ground response.
Lachlan served for 11 years as an infantry officer in the British Army where he trained and led people in some the harshest of operating environments in the world.
He personally served on operational tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has extensive risk management experience gained from his military career, as Regional Manager Africa for a global security company, leading expeditions to remote parts of the world, and mountaineering and climbing internationally for over 20 years.
In recent years he has been applying and expanding this experience as a safety advisor in the TV industry providing risk management advice to A-list celebrities and crews in various high-risk environments.
He is qualified as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, military ski touring instructor, FREC3 First Responder and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, he also holds the ‘A’ License for freefall parachuting.
Having tried her hand at a number of different sports, from skeleton to skydiving, ultra running to open water swimming, Louise is happiest when she’s spending time outside!
Always curious, Louise has found herself involved in a wide range of different projects; some of the highlights of which range from having been part of the implementation team for the inaugural Invictus Games, being the British member of the International Federation of Skeleton; Bobsleigh – working to get adaptive ice sports included into the Winter Paralympic Games, developing a trek for a local guiding company in the Indian Himalaya, learning Arabic and working in some remote and hostile locations around the globe.
Having relocated back to the mighty West Country from her beloved Highland’s of Scotland, Louise is itching to get out adventuring. A lover of Winter, she’s keen to dust off her collection of ski’s, sharpen her axes and head out into the mountains!
DR NIALL AYE MAUNG
Niall is the medical director for Secret Compass and oversees our medical policy, practices and procedures. He has also supported TV projects on location.
Niall’s initial training at the University of Cambridge provided him with a clinical knowledge base grounded in evidence-based medicine. His clinical degree, from the University of London, exposed him to a broad array of patients and specialties.
Niall went on to spend several years working with the military on world-wide deployments, gaining wide ranging experience and qualifications in pre-hospital, expedition and tropical medicine. His military experience provides a unique grounding to support our complicated medical needs.
secret compass consultants
HCPC PARAMEDIC, IOSH QUALIFIED SAFETY ADVISOR
Trevor is a registered Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) paramedic and qualified Risk Management Consultant who has extensive
operational experience enabling programme makers in wild and remote locations around the world.
Trevor has worked across a variety of sectors including medical, disaster relief and the delivery of large scale military projects, and now primarily works within the television industry providing both emergency and primary care in remote environments. His background includes extended training in Advanced Life Support as well as Tropical, Travel and Expedition Medicine, combined with his extensive experience enables him to deliver a professional and holistic approach to risk management.
HCPC PARAMEDIC, IOSH QUALIFIED SAFETY ADVISOR
As a registered Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Paramedic, James has extensive experience working in a variety of roles both in the UK and
overseas. These roles have prepared James for the difficult and demanding task of working with infectious diseases of all types. He is a professional and resourceful clinician with added qualifications in Tropical Diseases, Traumatic Pre-Hospital Care and Advanced Life Support
James is able to provide a professional, bespoke and ultimately safe service to clients. He has worked around the world, from West Africa to Central Asia and the Far East where infectious diseases are commonplace. He has a military background and is now an experienced Risk Management Consultant, Safety Adviser and instructor.
PARAMEDIC & SAFETY ADVISOR
Wayne is a Critical Care Paramedic based out of Chamonix in the French Alps. He is an experienced expedition medic and former Royal Marines Commando.
He has worked as a HEMS paramedic and as a helicopter Search & Rescue Winchman however as a keen climber he is most at home when providing medical support and advice in cold and/or mountainous environments. This passion has led him to undertaking the Diploma in Mountain Medicine.
Wayne has provided medical and safety support for TV productions and individuals in all environments from the jungles of SE Asia and South America to North East Greenland, the Himalayas and Antarctica.
His claim to fame is that he was a field guide and the on ice medic for the successful Endurance 22 expedition to Antarctica in the search for the Endurance.
HCPC PARAMEDIC, SAFETY ADVISOR
Tom has extensive experience working within a range of challenging pre-hospital and hospital based environments throughout the world as a registered Health and Care Professions (HCPC)
Paramedic. Having responded to global humanitarian crises in their primary phase and also leading public health projects in resource sparse settings, his experience working in these demanding environments is underpinned by years of guiding, rafting and trekking trips in premiere destinations worldwide.
This combination of skill sets helps foster a practical yet highly achievable approach to risk management and the implementation of proportional infection prevention control measures when working within the television and film industry.
DOCTOR & SAFETY ADVISOR
Charlotte is a highly qualified and competent medical professional and expedition leader. She trained initially in Emergency Medicine, and is now a full-time Pre-hospital Care Doctor and HEMS Consultant, working for
Air Ambulances across the UK to provide Advanced Critical Care.
She has combined her love for the outdoor world with her profession as a doctor from the beginning. She started working as an Expedition Leader whilst at medical school and has since then achieved many qualifications and accolades. She is Founder and Trustee of the British Mountain Medicine Society (BMMS), Faculty member for the Diploma of Mountain Medicine, Fellow and Examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh (FIMC RCSEd).
Her usual scope of practice also includes working, consulting and educating in the areas of PHEM, Expedition Medicine, TV/Film medicine and safety.
She has worked on and led many expeditions in the most extreme environments around the world; from jungles, deserts and greater ranges to the South Pole, even spending many months on Mt Everest doing research for the Xtreme Everest 2 project.
She is a qualified Dive Master and has military qualifications in parachuting and skiing. In her down time she enjoys climbing, kayaking and pretty much any activity that gets her outdoors.
As a professional whitewater kayaker and TV adventure safety specialist, Sal has spent several years working in some of the world’s most remote and demanding environments.
Sal has led many world-first expeditions and explorations, including leading TV naturalist and presenter Steve Backshall and his team down never explored before, committing canyons in both Bhutan and Kamchatka, for series one and two of his BBC and UKTV documentaries. Sal has worked on a variety of productions, including Bluechip wildlife documentaries and large scale feature films, as well as challenge and reality shows.
Sal specialises in supporting teams to achieve their adventure and/or filming goals, whilst prioritising crew safety.
As a professional mountaineering instructor, expedition leader and polar guide Scott has extensive experience of operating in some of the world’s most remote and challenging environments. He has a particular passion for cold places and has spent the last 12 years guiding scientific, film/tv and commercial expeditions within Antarctica and the Arctic.
He has worked on media projects for the BBC, National Geographic, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Channel 4 as both a safety team lead and a rope rigging specialist.
Scott has climbed all over the world including successfully guiding a team to the summit of Mount Everest in 2023. Other expeditions have taken him to the South Pole, Alaska, Mongolia, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Svalbard, Greenland and throughout the European Alps.
His qualifications include a BA Hons degree in Management, Summer and Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor (WMCI), IPGA International Polar Guide, Rescue 3 Rope Rescue Technician, Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and FREC 3 First Responder.
Nico is an expert in projects that are challenging and beyond the limits of normal operations. He has spent years as a climbing instructor and mountain leader, coupled with a diverse security risk management background in a variety of interesting environments.
Using his degree in Biomedical Science, Nico is working towards ambulance care technician FREC 5 to provide medical support to film and tv.
After developing his mountain skills, he volunteered as a casualty carer for the mountain rescue England and Wales and rescue global as part of the airborne pathfinder team responding to global disasters.
As well as delivering rock climbing and security advice to tv and film productions, he has an active interest in photography and drones, journalism, languages, skydiving and paramotoring.
Ed Hill is a leading specialist in Safety, Security and Risk Management.
Originally hailing from Australia, Ed spent 20 years as an officer in the British Army leading teams across complex and challenging environments around the world.
After his Military Service Ed moved to the US and embarked on a career as a Security and Risk Consultant – helping to deliver security planning for Rio 2016 Olympic games and advising a diverse group of clients including The Washington Post, Wall St Journal and Amazon.
Ed has also been involved in the non-profit sector having spent many years working with NGOs in delivering humanitarian relief in the aftermath of natural disasters.
Ed currently provides safety and security services to Film, TV and Media productions in remote locations across the globe – having supported filming projects in locations ranging from caves in the jungles of borneo, to chases across the rooftops of Venice, to active volcanoes in Indonesia. He focusses on providing the best possible safety planning solutions for his clients such that their creative vision can be achieved.
Ed is qualified Wilderness First Responder, Ocean Yachtmaster (3 x transatlantic passages), Jungle Instructor, Scuba Diving Instructor and has summitted some of the worlds highest Peaks.
PARAMEDIC & SAFETY ADVISOR
Matias is an EMT-Paramedic born in Patagonia, Argentina, from a Swiss family. With over a decade of experience working in remote and extreme environments. His South American background gives him the chance to balance the high safety European standards with the changing and challenging environment of third world countries.
His background: EMT-Paramedic, HEMS certified, specialised in remote locations. Paramedic on the Mountain SAR team. Certified Ski Patrol, with over 5 years of experience as a Paramedic on the biggest ski resort. Currently pursuing his Mountain Leader certification. Risk Management for Big Outdoor Events (Ultra trails, expeditions, bike races, Motorace’s)
TV/Film background: BBC, Amazon, AppleTV, NatGeo. Having travelled all over the globe and been on shoots in parts of Argentina, Chile (Atacama), Peru (High Altitude) and Mongolia (gobi desert).
He has expertise in Mountain, Alpine, Altitude and Desert terrains and speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese and intermediate German.
He loves Backcountry Skiing, Rock and Ice Climbing, Mountain Bike, Hiking, and Mountaineering.
Gav has experience ensuring the safety and security of others in a variety of roles and settings, his diverse background and technical qualifications have lead him to operate in some of the world’s most hostile environments such as mountains, jungles, deserts, polar regions and conflict zones.
He has vast experience in mountain and water environments, from leading expeditions at altitude to setting a world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. He is comfortable being uncomfortable and is cheerful in the face of adversity. When not working he enjoys Mountain Biking, Skiing and Kayaking.
He has provided safety for numerous productions ranging from music videos and TV shows to big budget feature films.
He holds the following qualifications:
IRATA Level 3 Rope Access Supervisor
Rope Rescue Supervisor
Rock Climbing Instructor
Winter Mountain Leader
International Mountain Leader
Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician
First Response Emergency Care Level 4
Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support
Advanced Whitewater Rescue Technician
Advance Powerboat Commercial Endorsement
SIA Close Protection Licence
Jim served for 13 Years as a Royal Marines Commando Officer, specialising in amphibious operations in complex maritime, coastal and mountain environments.
Mountains and the sea or ideally a combination of both have always been a fascination, with most life decisions influenced by them in one way or another…
An opportunity to attempt an unclimbed line on NE ridge of Mount Hunter in Alaska, with a talented team in the early 2000’s ended with him taking a rapid and painful shortcut to the glacier below. Jim knows how things can go very wrong in remote locations and how those situations are affected by the skills and knowledge you have, and critically in the team around you.
These tricky situations also cement lifelong friendships – so it’s a delicate balance!
Jim leads expeditions, special projects and Safety teams in remote locations around the globe and has recently had some adventures off the remote high latitude coastlines of the high Arctic.. the more ‘off the wall’ the project.. the better.
A qualified commercial Yacht Master and Advanced Powerboat Coxn with global experience, Jim also has leadership qualifications as a Sea Kayak Leader, Swift Water Rescue, is a Winter ML and is a FREC 3 first responder.
Matthew is an experienced Mountain Leader and climber. He has led expeditions in many different corners of the world, including Spitzbergen, Rwenzori, the Altai mountains and Caucasas range.
As well as leading pioneering expeditions, Matthew has provided mountain safety for Seismic survey projects in Kurdistan.
He has provided safety services for TV and Film projects such as Danny MacAskill, The BFG, SAS: Who Dares Wins and Men In Kilts.
Matthew is a qualified Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, Winter Mountain Leader and International Mountain Leader. He is also a qualified FREC 3 First Responder.
Waldo is an expert climber, rope rescue and technical rigging specialist with extensive experience operating on remote location expeditions. He has led tree climbing expeditions to remote and unexplored tropical
forests and has completed a number of world-first ascents of some of the most challenging and remote big walls on earth.
He uses his expertise in rope-based disciplines to create innovative and streamlined access and rescue systems that enable teams to operate safely and efficiently in remote environments.
He is also an instructor, teaching high-level wilderness rigging and rescue classes for Remote Ropes Ltd.
Alex has 15 years of military expertise, partly in Special Forces. He has been leading expeditions and instructing wilderness related courses for
almost a decade on multiple continents including, Antarctica, the Middle East and the Americas, specialising in medical support and private services in high risk areas.
His qualifications include Red Cross Advanced Wilderness and Remote First Aid Instructor, Certified Wilderness Instructor for the Professional Association of Wilderness Guides and Instructors (PAWGI) and multiple Military qualifications in medicine and advanced warfare. He is passionate about wilderness survival and wilderness medicine, and currently serves in the Army Reserves as an Infantry Instructor.
Dave has spent over 65 months on expeditions in 85 countries from Europe and Asia to Africa and Latin America. He thrives on exploring for unclimbed areas
of the world and has climbed new routes in dozens of countries. To Dave, the climbing is the ‘icing on the cake’ and the real ‘fruit and nut mix’ is made from the people you meet, the animals you encounter, the sights you see and the wonderful food you eat.
Dave’s adventures have been on the National Geographic Channel and on Sky TV; in four books; and in seven magazines. He has been recognised by the Royal Geographic Society and has been a fellow since his mid twenties. Dave inspires others by speaking about his adventures at numerous public speaking events. Just one of his many adventures was climbing new routes to explore a ruined inaccessible Ethiopian palace for gold, treasure and legends. Dave lives for adventure and this combined with his professional manner and experience has resulted in his being a very sought after expedition guide.
Mike is a certified safety and security professional with a wide range of commercial operational experience. His knowledge is based upon real world operations in a number of challenging environments.
He has a diverse background in risk and security management built up over the last 30 years from the oil and mineral sectors in Colombia and Angola in the late 90s to leading and operating with international media teams , covering the majority of conflicts since the start of the war on terror.
Mike’s responsibilities have included planning, training and execution of strategic projects across a wide cross-section of industries such as on-location production safety/security coordination for newsgathering, documentaries and TV shows, the energy and mineral sector, government agencies and NGOs.
Mike has a passion for storytelling and journalism and prides himself on his holistic tailor made approach to managing risk that enables teams to produce award winning journalism in challenging environments.
Mike’s vast experience of operating on the ground in extremely complex high risk environments is demonstrated by his ability to assist his clients reach their objectives.
An original member of the BBC high risk team in Iraq he then spent five years as Sky News Specialist Risk Manager for all Forigen deployments, leading a successful multi team coverage through the complexities of the Syrian and Iraq wars.
He has successfully led month long remote expeditions into the far eastern deserts of Mauritania and southern Madagascar.
Mike is a former member of 1st NZ SAS Group, a mountain and jungle specialist who has the ability to operate in small teams in remote environments over long periods.
Mike is currently a certified FREC-4, WFR, MIRA, PHTLS, Pre Hospital care remote environment team medic.
secret compass HQ
Anya has discovered that the skills gained in academic research are also applicable to the fast paced world of expedition planning.
Having swapped scientific experiments for organising expeditions, she has settled into the Secret Compass team.
A geologist at heart, Anya is likely to be found underground, regularly caving in the local Mendip Hills. This interest in karst has taken her all over the world including exploring and surveying cave systems in the Philippines, India and the USA. When not caving Anya is an ocean enthusiast who loves spending time scuba diving off the south coast and spotting the local sea life. Always looking for ways to spend more time in the water, she has recently taken up open water swimming which she hopes will be a year-round activity.
As a talented linguist with over a decade of experience managing group expeditions to various far-flung corners of the world, Aysha has
been a great addition to the Secret Compass team. An impressive portfolio of adventures, including backpacking in South America, trekking the Skeleton Coast in Namibia, and road-tripping around Iceland have prepared her well for taking the lead as Secret Compass’ main expedition planner, though she also dabbles in project management for TV shoots.
In her spare time Aysha surfs, climbs, and mountain bikes, and is currently converting a campervan so she can get out and about on even more adventures!
Prior to joining Secret Compass Ben combined a varied career in ecology and academia with dreaming up and embarking on unique expeditions, including an unsupported human powered crossing of the Australian continent.
His wide array of experiences from sheep shearing to expedition sea kayaking mean he’s ready for whatever the world of TV or expeditions throws at him.
When not in the office Ben can be found kayaking, climbing, biking or training to row across the Atlantic in 2024!
Josh served for 12 years as a Royal Marines Commando, deploying globally to hostile environments. He is a security and risk management
specialist and joined Secret Compass from a Security and Travel Risk Management company.
He holds qualifications in Security Risk Management (Level 6) and FREC 3 medical first response. When he’s not looking for his next adventure in his self-converted campervan, Josh enjoys skiing, stand up paddleboarding and attempting to surf.
Liz joined the Secret Compass team in 2021 after 20 years planning and leading multiple expeditions all over the world, and most latterly working as a risk
management consultant for educational and adventure travel organisations in the UK, US and Canada.
A qualified Off-Site Safety Management trainer, Liz has written and provided a number of travel risk management workshops and training courses, and is one of the founders of the CORE Risk Conference which meets annually to discuss sector-specific travel risk issues.
Liz sits on the British Standards Institute committee for BS8848 (a standard for overseas travel and fieldwork) and over the last 10 years has been an auditor for organisations seeking compliance to the standard. Liz is also part of an international committee writing ISO 31031 – Risk Management for youth travel, alongside colleagues from Europe, Australia, the US, Middle East, Kenya, South Africa and India.
Meet Stephen, an Irish guy who’s as at home in the ocean as he is in the wild. For more than 28 years, Stephen has ridden waves all over the world and he shared his love as the head surf instructor at Ireland’s oldest surf school for a solid 15 years.
His journey took him to the deep blue as a professional dive guide during three years of globetrotting adventures. From the farthest corners of the Earth to his own personal, off-the-beaten-path escapades, Stephen’s tales could fill a short book or just make you smile and laugh over a cup of coffee.
Since returning back to the UK, Stephen balanced his previous engineering day job with his love for adventure. His holidays were all about leading expeditions to jungles and mountains, scratching that itch for the great outdoors. Joining the Secret Compass team was the logical next step, working with the best in the business to push the boundaries of exploration.
Alice moved across to Secret Compass from the public sector, having previously held operational roles in both education and healthcare.
When she’s not managing Secret Compass’ network of consultants and helping to keep things at the office running smoothly, Alice loves to climb, row and hike, and regularly daydreams about her travel goal of setting foot on every continent – so far she’s 3 out of 7 down!
Kathy joined the Secret Compass team after previously working in security operations, combining her experience with her love for the outdoors.
Kathy has ridden for years, competing in endurance races and has taught horse riding and guided treks in New Zealand, South Africa, USA and Greece. When not in the saddle, she can be found hiking in the Welsh hills, playing rugby, swimming, or trying any new sport or outdoor pursuit.
Harriet joined the Secret Compass team after 10 years experience in TV production, where she worked across drama, comedy and natural
history productions. With a degree in Anthropology and African Studies, Harriet loves to explore the world whenever she has the opportunity. She is a passionate skier and is happiest when having outdoor adventures with her family.
With a background in TV, Oscar came prepared to meet the logistical needs of Secret Compass’ varied portfolio of projects.
Supported by our excellent freelance Stores team, he is responsible for managing all kit deployments and overseeing the large inventory of equipment sent out on expeditions and TV shoots.
Outside of work, Oscar can be found scaling cliffs all over the world, having climbed hundreds of extreme grade rock climbs including one of the 6 great north faces of the alps. Oscar is also a keen cyclist, and has completed many cycle tours, culminating in a solo and unsupported adventure from southern India into Nepal.
Ollie previously worked as an outdoor instructor in North Wales, leading a variety of teams and experiences, such as the Three Peaks Challenges,
Welsh 3000s as well as numerous expeditions abroad for teenagers.
Ollie’s been to a fair few places, the best being Latin America (though perhaps he biased due to being half Venezuelan). Ollie enjoys mountain biking and is up for doing anything outdoors.
ANNA RAE DOWLING
Head of Marketing
Anna joins Secret Compass after 5 years heading up the marketing for our sister brand, Everest in the Alps.
With a background in personal training and a love of all things fitness related, Anna is happiest when practicing yoga, hiking with her dog, or dragging her kids on a weekend exploring Cornwall in the van.
With over a decade in brand marketing, Phillipa joins us as Content Manager. Having lived in Australia and California, she loves nothing more than grabbing a backpack and getting lost in nature.
When she’s not crafting content, she’s out camping, on her paddleboard, or enjoying the Essex countryside.
After several years spent at sea, living aboard sailing yachts, Catherine has traded in her sea legs to join the Secret Compass team.
Whilst she is most familiar with locations that have a coastline she was initially drawn to expeditions through a love of cold places, ski-touring in Scandinavia with nights in snow holes and skiing on the sea ice through the North West Passage.
Recognising the best days usually involve a roll mat and camping stove, if she can’t be out on an expedition herself the next best thing is to chat to you about yours.