Dr Ghazala Mear was born in 1963, in Lahore, Pakistan, but moved to London with her family and grew up in Twickenham. She has always led an active life, rock-climbing, mountaineering, running, skiing and swimming, both in the UK and abroad.
Loving mountains and climbing led Ghazala to meet her husband, International Mountain Guide and Polar Adventurer Roger Mear, on the summit of the Matterhorn, Switzerland in 1990. Ghazala has been Medical Officer on 8000m peak expeditions to the Himalaya and Karakorum.
Ghazala was personally invited by Robert Swan OBE to walk the last 60 miles of the 2041 ClimateForce South Pole Energy Challenge – a 600 mile sled haul from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. Using wind, solar and biofuels, in January 2018, it became the first polar expedition to use only renewable energy. The point being if we can do this in the coldest, driest and most inhospitable place on earth, surely we can follow in our own lives to help reduce carbon emissions.
Ghazala was the only female team member of 10.
Her 2 year ‘Step by Step’ campaign successfully funded the expedition and gave Ghazala much insight into ‘make things happen’. The name reinforces the power of many incremental changes leading to huge collective impact, a strategy of life Ghazala realises can work for everyone. Ghazala is passionate to leave the Earth a more sustainable place for her two young sons. Being an Associate Postgraduate Dean for Health Education England, Ghazala innovated the first mandated module of sustainability in NHS training nationally, driving evidence based behaviour change to combat carbon emissions in the workplace. Ghazala continues towards rolling this model throughout the NHS.
Being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1996, Ghazala underwent a year of chemoradiotherapy. Working deep inside herself and focusing on the positives helped her through that year. Having been a keen long distance runner, the following year with her 30% reduction in lung function, Ghazala completed the Sheffield Marathon. The experience developed her resilience, determination, humility, compassion and patience. It’s legacy continues to help her through adversity in personal and professional lives. Ghazala lives in the Derbyshire Peak District, had a total hip replacement in 2014 and now keeps fit through long distance and open-water swimming, mountain biking, yoga and skiing.
A surgeon in the NHS for over 30 years, Ghazala is no stranger to working or leading in a male dominated environment. She understands the importance of teamwork and has experienced the powerful effects a female can make to team dynamics.
Using her life experiences, Ghazala has addressed national and international audiences as a motivational and inspiring keynote speaker.
“Ghazala gave a series of inspiring and thought-provoking presentations to a range of audiences – including teachers, parents and, of course, all our 3000 students, aged 3-18 years. This was no mean feat! She talked openly and emotionally about her own life as well as her relationship with the world of exploration and adventure, with some fabulous images. Her talks touched on a range of important and engaging topics, but always directed towards the idea of sustainability and the need for all of us to think about living a more responsible and meaningful life. Her motivation was infectious and left a deep impression within the school community. We look forward to seeing Ghazala again!”
Martin Foakes - Director of Outdoor Education, Tanglin Trust International School, Singapore
“Ghazala delivered a truly inspirational presentation, inspirational and motivating on so many levels for our International Women’s Day 2019. Perfect!”
Michele Herdman - President, Soroptomist International, Richmond and Dales, UK.
Invited by Robert Swan OBE, Ghazala joined the SPEC (South Pole Energy Challenge) expedition at 60 nautical miles from the South Pole; The Last Degree. The challenge was to walk to the South Pole, using only renewable energy, with the message that, if they could survive this way in Antarctica, the coldest, driest and most inhospitable place on Earth, we can easily make sustainable changes in our everyday lives.
Competed with James Cracknell and Ben Fogle in a gruelling race to the south pole in 2009, overcoming frostbite and the bitterest conditions to finish 2nd. A doctor of obstetrics, Ed talks on becoming learner to leader, knowing when to change strategy and how to work in newly formed teams. Ed has also done workshops.
Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner who holds four World Records, including First Woman to Row Three Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010. Quite a departure from her original career as a management consultant!
One of Britain's leading female explorers and is among the very few people in the world who have walked to both the North and South Geographical poles. Her presentations cover leadership, teamwork, motivation and environmental issues.