Ice­breaker nam­ing wins trip of life­time

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - ALEX LUTTRELL

THE name to be em­bla­zoned on Aus­tralia’s new ice­breaker is a proud nod not only to the coun­try’s Antarc­tic legacy, but also Tas­ma­nia’s Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage.

Six St Vir­gil’s Col­lege stu­dents, along with an­other six from Perth’s Se­cret Har­bour Pri­mary in Western Aus­tralia, have won a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion to name Aus­tralia’s new $1.9 bil­lion ice­breaker — the RSV Nuy­ina.

The group set­tled on the name Nuy­ina, which means South­ern Lights in palawa kani — the lan­guage of Tas­ma­nian Abo­rig­ines.

Aus­tralian Antarc­tic Div- ision di­rec­tor Nick Gales said the name also recog­nised the ti­tles of pre­vi­ous Antarc­tic ves­sels the Aurora Aus­tralis and Sir Dou­glas Maw­son’s ship the Aurora.

Both were named after the South­ern Lights or aurora aus­tralis, an Antarc­tic phe­nom­e­non that pro­duces colour­ful lights over the night sky. As part of their win, the St Vir­gil’s stu­dents will be­come the first schoolchil­dren to set foot on Antarc­tica in late Novem­ber through the Aus­tralian Antarc­tic Pro­gram.

Dr Gales said they would fly to the Wilkins Aero­drome and be based at Casey Sta­tion, with some ice core sam­pling on the cards. “We’ll show them the work we do, talk to them about our pro­gram and give them a taste of life down in Antarc­tica,” he said.

Dr Gales said the keel of the 156m Nuy­ina was laid in a Ro­ma­nian ship­yard last month, with the hull to be launched in un­der a year’s time. The ves­sel will ar­rive in Ho­bart in 2020.

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