This article was published by The Age on 25 October, 2013. 

It also appeared in print (click here to view this and other Fairfax print articles). 


Peter Bland, the first Australian to walk both the North and South Poles, is a firm believer in overcoming challenges to develop strength.

In May next year, he'll be drawing on his past adventures to lead 12 Aboriginal youths on a trek to the Antarctic's Trinity Peninsula.

The youths are graduates of Yalari, an indigenous youth leadership program, and Mr Bland hopes that the 10 days they spend exploring the frozen landscape will not only test their endurance but develop their character.

Preparation for the trip, dubbed ''From Outback to Ice'', will be vigorous, he said, encompassing physical, mental and emotional training. The group will learn about camping, climbing and trekking. They will use Victoria University's altitude facility to familiarise themselves with Antarctic conditions. The Yalari program, founded by Australian of the Year finalist Waverley Stanley, supports indigenous students through Australia's top boarding schools and into tertiary education.

According to Mr Stanley, ''From Outback to Ice'' builds on the camps the program offers within Australia. His students have trekked through remote areas of the Northern Territory and skied at some of Victoria's best snowy mountains. ''I'd like to think that this is part of a bigger leadership program for us as an organisation to ensure we're developing young indigenous leaders outside their comfort zone.''

AuthorToni Brient