Meet The Team
Finding Australia Team
The team is led by English maritime writer/historian Bob Hobman, who has built, filmed and navigated native craft through Indonesia’s Spice Islands and the Pacific for four decades. He has built and sailed a 20 meter dugout canoe 5,000 kilometers across the Indian Ocean from Bali to Madagascar
Ex-professional diver and workboat skipper who has shared many an adventure with Bob, starting with building an Indonesian perahu and voyaging around the islands then back to Australia. Robin was also involved with the Sarimanok journey from Bali to Madagascar and the Jukung race along the same road.
Glenn Marshall has been researching early human migration through the Indonesian island chain for over 20 years. Recently he has developed low-cost ocean drifters to monitor Indonesian sea currents using satellite GPS technology. Glenn has a degree in geology and has been a high level infrastructure manager in central Australia for many years, focusing on sustainable urban infrastructure.
A commercial diver hailing from the north of Australia. Finn's life has revolved around the ocean since an early age, using it as a constant source of adventure whether it be surfing, sailing or the construction of ancient rafts.
Born and raised on the island of Bali, Kadek has grown up listening to his father's (Bob Hobman) adventures and sea voyages. So it is little surprise that the search for travel and adventure are always on his horizon.
A Dutch sailor and academic completing a PhD on the isotopic signal of rainfall in north Australia. He comes to The First Mariners from James Cook University in Cairns, Queensland, where he is preparing his yacht to take him and his wife into the Pacific next year. He has joined the project to cross the Timor Sea by bamboo raft because - “I am fascinated by the fact that our ancestors managed to migrate across oceans that we, at present, consider ‘dangerous’ or ‘adventurous’ despite all the modern safety nets we have at our disposal."
Michael is coordinating the post-departure logistics in Rote after the raft departs for Australia and then arrival logistics in Australia once the voyage reaches the other end. He operates a tourist resort in Broome in northern Australia and worked in the mining industry for many years as an environmental manager and logistics manager. He was a logistics engineer in the Army reserve for many years and is a regular visitor to Indonesia with a strong interest in geology and archaeological tourism.
Barth Van Der Geer
Barth van der Geer, carpenter and tool knapper, is focusing on primitive stone tools, their use and fabrication. Barth has a degree in geology/palaeontology and spent many years excavating on mainland Italy and islands of the Mediterranean. Recently he joined an excavation in the northern Philippines looking for more traces of the earliest human colonization of the islands of Southeast Asia. Barth will provide the Timor Sea raft’s stone tool assemblage at the building site at Oeseli, Rote.
‘Ife’ is one of the raft crew that will be sailing from Timor to Australia in 2020. He is a lifelong Oeseli resident and expert boatsman, fisherman and bamboo artisan. He sailed to Darwin in the crew of the Nale Tasih II in 1998. Ife recently requested a DNA ancestry test and is half Melanesian half Austronesian – his ancestors waved off the first people to sail to Australia.
Daniel is one of the raft crew that will be sailing from Timor to Australia in 2020. He lives within 100 metres of where the raft will be built and his lovely wife Mama Mia looks after the foreign crew whilst in the village. Daniel is a seaman and bamboo artisan and has been heavily involved with launching and tracking sea current drifters through 2019.
Tommy Lawrence is a Northern Territory based film-maker who operates Ten 4 Media. He relishes filming outdoor adventures common in this part of the world and has already sold NT-based documentaries to NatGeo Wild, ABC, BBC and CBS. Tommy was recently involved in National Geographic’s ‘Outback Wrangler’ as producer and ‘Meanwhile in Australia’ and ‘Protecting Paradise’ as Director of Photography.
Thanks to the Kithira to Crete Team members (Previous Voyage)
Crew (Kythira to Crete)
Rose was raised in the Borneo rainforests, followed by schooling in a French Lycee and university in London. She was a part of Bob's last Lombok Strait raft crossing and travels widely, with a home in Bali and frequent visits to England and Australia.
Crew (Kythira to Crete)
Dylan is one of the original members of the expedition and life-long friend of the Hobman and Davy families. He is a senior maths and science teacher who left his home town in his early twenties to explore through Indonesia and Spain, and hasn't looked back since!
Crew (Kythira to Crete)
John Kalligeros was born in Hobart Australia and brought up on Kythira. Working as a Project Manager in a management consultany company, he has come full circle round the world back to where he started only to find another adventure in its making.
Ton Leenarts is the official First Mariners artist. His paintings are well known in the Western world and in the other half as a devoted wanderer seeking inspiration for his uniquework. As a mariner he claims no credit for the fact that The Netherlands is largely below sea level.