Icebreaker naming wins trip of lifetime
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.