Leader of the Year Awards

Our annual Leader Awards recognise and celebrate inspiring Leaders from across the spectrum – from stand-out beginners to the highly experienced. Recipients are nominated and shortlisted by fellow Leaders and members of the British Exploring Society team with the final Awards being made by a judging panel, who look to honour spirit and skills.

The Awards

Watson Emerging Leader of the Year Award in memory of Jean Sinclair is designed to recognise and reward emerging talent, or to identify new, additional or more senior leadership actions on the part of a Leader who may have worked with us for some time.

The Les Morgan Leader of the Year Award is to identify and celebrate consistent excellence in any area of Leadership, or to recognise an individual who has supported and helped develop their fellow Leaders, providing guidance and direction for them as well as for Explorers in preparation for and throughout their expedition experiences.

We presented the two awards at the end of this season. The nominees for the 2019 Awards are available below. Overall winners were announced at our Celebration Evening in 2020.


Joanna McLaughlin Media Leader, Canadian Yukon 2019

Joanna has recently returned to the U.K having spent 18 months in the Italian Dolomites where she worked for a walking holiday company leading guests on walks and teaching landscape painting. Joey studies Fine Art at university and went on to do a masters in heritage specialising in the intangible culture and heritage of Maori and First Nation people. She has subsequently worked in museum and heritage sites across the world including the National Trust and the Nation Museum of New Zealand. In her down time Joey enjoys camping, mountaineering and climbing. She documents her journeys through painting, photography and natural sculptures.

“She has left some big shoes to fill. Joey has been absolutely delightful to work with. She has been endlessly resourceful, with ideas for every stage of the expedition. With her positive approach and energy, she was able to inspire young explorers and leaders too… Joey’s approached the role of Media Leader with a clear vision of helping young people express themselves and understand the cultural and historical significance of the Yukon territory… She approached the role with care, passion and throughout the expedition demonstrated her ability as a Leader.”


Chloe Moul Senior Social Leader, DNG 2019

DNG 2019 was Chloe’s 8th expedition as Senior Social Leader. Having spent over 15 years working in youth development Chloe has combined her passion of working with young people and her love of the great outdoors to be able to share her wealth of knowledge and experience in both fields to support participants and leaders on the DNG programme. Currently completing her Master’s in Psychodynamic Theory, she will shortly qualify as a Therapist specialising in working with Children and Adolescents.

“Throughout this year’s programme Chloe exemplified the behaviour, attitudes and values of a great expedition leader, utilising her vast youth experience and knowledge to absolutely nail every interaction with the young people, sometimes at their most challenging time, and supported every leader to help deliver their most effective intervention with their participants. She is a rock and a core member of my base camp team, highly professional and willing to be involved in everything that supports the development of the Young Explorers.”


Watson Emerging Leader of the Year Award in memory of Jean Sinclair 2019 shortlist

Jenna Pickering - Adventure & Knowledge Leader Dangoor Infinity

Joanna McLaughlan - Media Leader Canadian Yukon

Jonathan Ham - Science Leader Canadian Yukon

Neil Harvey - Base Camp Manager Canadian Yukon

George Walker - Senior Medical Leader DNG

Zoe Wiles - Adventure Leader Dangoor Infinity


Tony Harpur - Adventure Leader Canadian Yukon

Belinda Dixon - Knowledge Leader Infinity Pilot

Paul Batterbury - Chief Leader Amazon

Fernando Mateos - Chief Knowledge Leader Dangoor Infinity

Chloe Moul - Senior Social Leader DNG

Mark Downey - Deputy Chief Leader UK Explorers

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