The New Zealand Antarctic Youth Council held a workshop on 23 May at the Institute to discuss ways forward for the Council in the Antarctic education space.
The Council heard from guest Speaker Professor Tim Naish, Director of the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, as he explained the consequences of changes to the Antarctic climate for New Zealand and the globe. Professor Naish emphasised the important role the Council could have in shaping public awareness and New Zealand policy.
The Council also heard from their fellow Council member, Jacob Anderson, who gave an overview of Antarctic science to ensure all members have a comprehensive knowledge of the Antarctic. The Council has a diverse range of members, from Antarctic specialists to law and politics students. This ensures the Council is representative and has a diverse range of opinions and perspectives. See the committee members on our website.
This workshop grew from a meeting held in March where the Council’s Constitution was established and guest speaker Stuart Prior, founder of Prior Group, discussed the importance of global leadership from New Zealand.
The Council is currently in the development stage of creating a poster for the Antarctic Science Conference held in late June. The poster will illustrate the impacts of climate change on Antarctica and the consequences of this for everyday New Zealanders. It will be the first promotional work from the Youth Council, and we hope it will inspire youth to find out more about the Council’s work.
The successful workshop resulted in a working plan for the coming year. This will involve an exploration of the Antarctic education space in New Zealand classrooms, looking to provide resources for teachers and students to engage with Antarctica and the consequences of climate change.
The Council will formally launch later this year and is continuously seeking interest from scientists, communicators and environmental advocates aged 18–30 who are committed to the protection of our shared Antarctic heritage. If you are interested in connecting with the Council, or joining as a member, please see their website – www.antarcticyouthnz.org – or contact Co-Chairs Ngahuia Leighton or Bella Duncan at email@example.com.