Naomi and Toby

In a surprise early Christmas present, two Canberra Year 12 college students have won a competition to secure a seat on the forthcoming Antarctica Flights Qantas Dreamliner sight-seeing flight to Antarctica, the first to fly over the frozen continent directly from Canberra.

The ANARE Club, Canberra, a group of Australian Antarctic veterans (background briefing attached), announced the winners of the competition today. “We are delighted to announce that Naomi Leszczynska, a year 12 student at Gungahlin College, and Toby Davis, a year 12 student from Hawker College, are the winners of the two seats available in our inaugural Antarctica flight competition,” says Malcolm Robertson, convenor of the ANARE Club in Canberra.

The competition, open to all public secondary college students in the ACT, was held during September and October with students being invited to write a short essay stating why they would like to fly over Antarctica and how they would use the experience to make the world a better place. The ANARE Club raised the funds to purchase two superior economy tickets for the winners, and the competition was facilitated by the ACT Education Directorate and the ACT Science Educators Association.

“Naomi’s winning entry was creatively written displaying passion and commitment about the natural world, while Toby’s spoke from the heart about climate change and using his artistic talents to tell of Antarctica’s pain,” Mr Robertson said. “Both will be marvellous ambassadors for Canberra’s colleges and our Club.”

Mr Robertson, who wintered in Antarctica during 1970, says the ANARE Club is delighted to have run the competition and were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and dedication expressed by the students who entered the competition.

“I wish we could have funded another ten seats,” he laughs. “The entries were uniformly strong with students showing a deep commitment to environmental issues, a sound understanding of the science behind climate change and a determination to make a difference.”

The Antarctic flight will fly from Canberra on Saturday 22 January 2022 and is operated by Antarctica Sightseeing Flights ( with assistance from the ANARE Club which provides specialist advice and commentators during the flight. The duration of the flight is about 12 hours with some four hours flying directly over the Antarctic continent.