AMELIA Telford, local environmentalist, youth leader, and determined 18-year-old, is facing her greatest challenge yet: conquering Antarctica.
The Year 12 student and college captain at Trinity Catholic College Lismore was delighted to hear on Sunday that she had been accepted into the International 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Program, an annual program that gives an opportunity to witness the effects of climate change in Antarctica.
The program has selected 30 young people from across the world to attend the International Antarctic Expedition from February 28 to March 14, 2013, led by renowned polar explorer Robert Swan OBE.
Mr Swan was the first person to walk to both the North Pole and South Pole. His Antarctic conservation organisation is called 2041.
The selected young people and the 60 other participants in the expedition will travel to Antarctica by ship.
It will be an eye-opening journey, and Amelia is elated to be one of them.
"I'm definitely looking forward to meeting like-minded people," she said.
Amelia is passionately involved with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and helped form the environmental committee at Trinity.
"I think my indigenous background has a lot to do with my environmental passion, it's definitely one of my connections," she said.
"I feel that the urgency of climate change in all of its forms just cannot be ignored."
Over the next few months, Amelia will be busy raising the $20,000 expedition fee and a further $5000 for flights, equipment and various other costs.
"Although the idea of raising $25,000 by November 15 may sound ambitious, unrealistic and terrifying, I feel that ambition, optimism and a little bit of fear are all healthy signs of positive progress and change," she said.