Meet our Executive Team

Team Member
Shona Luciani
Director of International Programs

Shona originally hails from a small town on the border of Ontario/Quebec Canada. A traveller since a young age, after graduating in 2000 from Algonquin College in Ottawa Canada, she headed off to Australia, (which she know calls home :) In the past 10 years she has spent time working in the travel industry, with other volunteer organizations and travelling to over 40 different countries.

She is presently out Director of International Programs, which sees her setting up VESA's Volunteer projects, meeting with village chiefs and local NGO's and making sure that our participants have the experience of their lives when they choose to travel on a VESA program.

When not on the road Shona enjoys chilling with friends, the beach and a good book!

Team Member
Thomas Constable-McDowell
Managing Director

Tom was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and travelled extensively as a child. Having caught the travel bug at an early age he set off for an epic three year journey with the main aim of circumnavigating the globe while always remaining in summer. This landed him sometimes knee deep in snow with only a pair of thongs and a t-shirt as protection.

Tom's adventures have taken him to many out of the way places in South America, Africa, Asia, India and Europe. This led him to trek the Darien Gap where no man usually ventures, deciding that staying in the slums of Nairobi while waiting for a visa to come through was a good idea and cruising the West Indies in a 30 foot yacht during a hurricane.

Having witnessed firsthand so many beautiful but disadvantaged places in the world Tom founded VESA in 2009 the main aim of which was to take direct action to improve the lives of some of the many wonderful people he had met along the way. You may meet Tom on your VESA program as he is actively involved in all our volunteer work with an active interest in the construction side of our projects.

Team Member
Virginia Little
Participant Coordinator – Office Manager

Virginia was born and raised in Sydney, Australia.

Having caught the travel bug at an early age she has journeyed to many corners of the world. Some of the highlights have been trekking to visit the mountain gorillas in Rwanda which she describes as “an awe inspiring experience”, “conquering” the Inca Trail in South America as well as recently walking the Camino del Santiago in Northern Spain.

Virginia has been with VESA since 2009 including helping to prepare for the inaugural program in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Virginia is happy to answer your questions and concerns regarding the programs as the Participant Coordinator.

In her free time she loves being with her three energetic sons, playing tennis or being immersed in a good novel.

Team Member
Participant Coordinator - North America and Europe

Diane is a graduate of St. Lawrence College-Business Administration and spent most of her leisure time hiking the Rocky Mountains with her dogs enjoying the beautiful scenery while dodging bears and cougars. Now enjoying a quieter life closer to family, her motto is ‘Keep it simple’.

Team Member
Namiko Okamoto
Conference Coordinator

Namiko migrated to Sydney, Australia as a teenager moving to Melbourne at nineteen to complete her diploma at RMIT. She travelled around Europe for five years basing her self in London and Berlin. She misses travelling but has enjoyed settling down in her second home, Melbourne, and spending time with family and her loving Australian cattle dog.

Team Member
Brittanie O'Reilly
Conference team

Brittanie is a graduate from Algonquin college in Ottawa Canada studying Tourism. Her education has lead her to varied jobs in the travel industry and provided her with amazing opportunities worldwide, visiting 25+ countries and counting. When settled, she enjoys spending as much time outdoors as she possible can even in those crazy Canadian winters.

Meet our Program Leaders

Team Member
Fiji Islands Discovered 2016
Team Leaders

L to R:Michelle, Ben, Tony, Shona, Wes, Josh, Cat 

Team Member
Amazonas Explored 2016
Team Leaders

L-R: Barbara, Pippa, Pepe, Vinny, Margarita, Maria Jose, Margarita

Team Member
South Africa Unearthed 2016
Team Leaders

L to R: Kirsten, Sarah, Cam, Lydia, Zine and Thom. 

Team Member
Southeast Asia Encountered 2016
Team Leaders

L to R: Mike, Kyle, Brittany and Christine