Ann-Marie is a passionate caver with over 30 years’ experience and is a recognised Trip Leader with the Western Australian Speleological Group. She has caved extensively in many of Australia’s karst regions and has a particular love for the karst of the Nullarbor Plains. Ann-Marie is also a keen grass-roots backpacker and often sniffs out caves to visit on her travels. To date, she has caved in South Africa, Indonesia, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. She is happiest when deep down in the bowels of the Earth and no, she is not claustrophobic.
In 1995, Ann-Marie and a fellow caver travelled by boat for three days up the mighty Mahakam River in East Kalimantan to look for caves near a remote Dayak village in the middle of Borneo. After contracting malaria and subsequent access issues, plans for a follow-up expedition were shelved. Fast forward to 2017 and a chance encounter with a British caver led to a return to Ujoh Bilang. This story is not just about the exploration of the spectacular caves, but the heartfelt acceptance of the cavers into the local Dayak community and one special family in particular.