A Rose will bloom in Antarctica2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
A young woman from Onehunga is swapping her spring cardigan for layered thermals to take a trip of a lifetime to a glacial wonderland.
Rose Lasham (21) is one of 22 young New Zealanders chosen from 550 for the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s ninth Inspiring Explorers Expedition, to explore South Georgia Island in the Antarctic. The trip is supported by Met Service and the Royal Society.
Rose is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, and has a strong interest in climate change, wildlife and biodiversity, and feels a deep connection with nature through her art. One of her recent artworks was constructed from rubbish and materials found in nature.
“My goal is to combine the trip with my artwork and work in a visual art team to develop an exhibition to inspire other New Zealanders to explore, learn about South Georgia’s history and diverse wildlife,” says Rose.
Rose admits that this adventurous trip is taking her out of her comfort zone.
“I had a speech impediment when I was younger which made me very insecure,” she says. After undergoing therapy, she realised that adventure flowed through her veins, as she has participated in various running events, completed a 21-day classical Outward Bound course in Picton, and was a prefect of Raise Up, a YMCA group where she helped plan environmental events within her community. She received a runner-up champion award by the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board in 2019, for her work at Raise Up.
While on the frozen continent, Rose will be based onboard Antarctica21’s ship, Magellan Explorer, and she will get to experience cruising in inflatable Zodiac boats, visits to vast king penguin rookeries, seal covered beaches, and the many important historic sites, including the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – an early polar explorer, who died of a heart attack on his final expedition. Antarctic Heritage Trust is the guardian of Shackleton’s only expedition base in Antarctica, and
marks the end of the heroic-era of Antarctic exploration. Not only is this the largest expedition yet, but it’ll also include the first Kiwi attempt of Mount Worsley, in recognition of Kiwi explorer Frank Worsley, the mountain’s namesake.
The expedition is timed for early spring as it marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and breeding cycle for so many of the island’s species: 30 million breeding birds including seven million penguins, two million fur seals, and 50 percent of the world’s southern elephant seals.
Rose will leave Auckland on Thursday, 28th September and return home on Tuesday, 17th October.