Once-in-a-lifetime Antarctic trip

YOUNG Hobart residents with a passionate interest in Antarctica have an opportunity to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Antarctic Peninsula and Chile in December 2019.

The Antarctic Cities Youth Expedition will bring together young people from five global cities that have particularly close ties to the Antarctic – Hobart, Cape Town, Christchurch, Punta Arenas (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina).

One person aged between 18 and 29 who lives in or near Hobart will be chosen for the free two-week expedition through an application process where they must demonstrate their interest in the Antarctic and its future.

The expedition is part of the Antarctic Cities research project led by Associate Professor Juan Salazar at Western Sydney University, in collaboration with the University of Tasmania and other partners.

It is made possible by generous international and local supporters: The Chilien Antartic Institute (INACH) is providing the Antarctic voyage, and Qube Ports and The Bookend Trust are helping with other travel expenses.

This means that airfares, accommodation costs and food in Antarctica will be covered, with expeditioners expected only to pay for their insurance and visas, as well as food and incidentals in Chile.

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) Professor Elizabeth Leane, who leads the Antarctic Cities project in Tasmania, said the successful applicant would help to deepen Hobart’s relationship with Antarctica and the other ‘gateways.’

“This is a fantastic opportunity for a young local resident to visit and learn about the Antarctic and Chile,” she said.

“We want a person who is not only passionate about this adventure but also committed to fostering a sense of connection between the five cities and Antarctica.

“They will learn about living, working and doing research in Antarctica, visiting a range of international research stations and taking part in discussions about how the gateway cities can act together as custodians of the region.

“We want them together to think of ways of fostering a sense of Antarctic custodianship in and between these gateways – a kind of Antarctic Youth Coalition.”

Professor Leane said the broader Antarctic Gateway Cities project was studying the relationships the cities had with Antarctica and each other.

“While Hobart is a well-known access point to the Antarctic, more needs to be done to broaden our sense of connection with the continent and with our gateway city counterparts globally,” she said.

“Hobart’s role as a base for science or logistics is just one aspect of a deep and rich connection we have with the Antarctic, and our project is also exploring the city’s economic, ecological, political and cultural connections.

“Young people are particularly important because they represent the next generation of custodians of Antarctica and our relationship with it.

“The upcoming Youth Expedition is one of a number of ways we are engaging with Tasmanians to deepen our sense of Hobart as an ‘Antarctic’ city.”

Funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant, the research is a partnership between Western Sydney University, the University of Tasmania, Hobart City Council, Antarctic Tasmania, and key partners in New Zealand and Chile.

For full application guidelines, submission details and more information, visit https://antarctic-cities.org/acye.

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