Sir Peter Blake Trust announces 2011 Antarctic Youth Ambassador

By Wright Communications

Twenty year old John, who grew up on his parents' farm in Timaru, will travel to Antarctica over the summer months where he will work with the Antarctic Heritage Trust on two heritage conservation projects - at Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds and Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans. This year marks the celebration of the centenary of Scott's Antarctic expedition.

The Antarctic Youth Ambassador programme, now in its fifth year, is run by The Sir Peter Blake Trust, Antarctica New Zealand and the Antarctic Heritage Trust. Each year a young New Zealander is selected to participate in and contribute to environmental and/or heritage conservation work in Antarctica, and to be an ambassador for the icy continent.

Hannah Prior from Sir Peter Blake Trust said they received a number of outstanding applications but John really stood out.

"John's a keen outdoorsman and handyman with lots of practical experience. He's a proven leader, and a self-motivated mechanical engineering student with an interest in the environment, sustainability and renewable energy," Hannah said.

John has achieved the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award, is a member of Engineers without Borders, volunteered with the Student Army after the recent Canterbury earthquakes, and like the young Sir Peter Blake, he has also built his own yacht.

John was selected to represent Canterbury at the 2007 Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeaders' Forum when he was at high school. 

"It's great to see that students getting involved in our environmental and leadership programmes in their school years go on to develop a keen interest in environmental issues and to take action," Hannah said.

Antarctic Heritage Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson says The Antarctic Heritage Trust is pleased to again be partnering with the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

"Sir Peter was an inspiration to all New Zealanders and we are pleased that John Evans will have a chance to contribute to the conservation of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's 1910-1913 base in Antarctica in this important centenary year, preserving the legacy of another inspirational leader."

"We are appreciative of the work that 2010 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Jamie Clark did last summer and we look forward to John continuing that work, and contributing as a member of the team this summer," says Mr Watson.


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