Monday, 14th November 2016

Student Heads to the Ice and Realises Life-Long Dream

A University of Auckland student (22) will realise a “life-long dream” when she heads to Antarctica to help save Sir Ed’ Hillary’s Hut after winning a sought-after Blake Antarctic Ambassador Award.

Annika Andresen has won the Blake Antarctic Ambassador - Antarctic Heritage Trust Award and will depart on Thursday 10 November to Antarctica, for over a month.

In the role Andresen will support the Antarctic Heritage Trust to conserve Hillary’s Hut. The hut was the first building at Scott Base, established during the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition during the summer of 1956-57. Sir Edmund Hilary led the party and it was his home when he wintered over on the ice in 1957.

Andresen is currently studying for a Masters of Architecture at the University of Auckland. Through her architecture and design practice, Andresen is investigating ways to engage the public, and help shape people’s understanding and behavior towards the environment.

Andresen has a passion for adventure and spent most of her childhood on a boat sailing around the North Island. She is a dive master and has navigated through Spain, Portugal, London, Niue and the Andaman Islands, giving her an understanding of how different cultures interact with their environments.

“Visiting Antarctica is a life long dream of mine and working on the restoration of Hillary’s Hut is an incredible opportunity to expand my knowledge of restoration methods and sustainable practices used in this process,” says Andresen.

As well as experiencing the ‘hands-on’ elements of her studies she’ll also be developing professional relationships and partnerships in her field of interest.

“We are delighted to find a Blake Ambassador with a focus on architecture and engaging people with structures and the environment. Hillary’s Hut is desperately in need of conservation, and Annika will join a team of dedicated heritage professionals on the job” says AHT’s Executive Director Nigel Watson.

Shelley Campbell, CEO of the Sir Peter Blake Trust says the programme is “is designed to be a life-changing experience made possible through the quality of our partnerships.”

“Providing unique hands-on experience in the field, with an element of adventure, and to work alongside industry leaders fast-tracks our Blake Ambassadors development and leadership,” says Campbell.

Antarctica New Zealand is a proud supporter of the Sir Peter Blake Trust Ambassador programme. Partnering with AHT to make this opportunity possible is an important part of our outreach objectives to support young people learn and appreciate New Zealand’s leadership legacy in Antarctica,” said Antarctica New Zealand’s Chief Executive Peter Beggs.

Andresen will return to New Zealand on 15 December, after more than a month in Antarctica.

There are 12 Blake Ambassadors (18-25 years) who have won the coveted ambassadorships over summer of 2016 and 2017; including Blake NIWA Ambassadors, Blake DOC Ambassadors, and Blake Tara Ambassadors.

Follow them on #BlakeAmbassadors

For more information please contact:

Sally Paterson, Sir Peter Blake Trust, or 021 446 708


Jeanine Foster General Manager Communications for Antarctica New Zealand. 021 0298 8327