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a close up of a woman wearing a purple hat

At the age of 14 her ‘polar quest’ began with a 150 km journey across thin ice to the North Pole. Then came a 550 km traverse of the Greenland icecap. By the age of 16 she had trekked 600 km from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole. For Australian teenager Jade Hameister such epic journeys are just the beginning…

Jade Hameister has already packed more adventure into her young life than most can ever dream of.

At the age of 12 she hiked with her family to Base Camp at Mt Everest. At 14 she undertook her first polar expedition, crossing 150 km of drifting sea ice to arrive at the North Pole. In doing so she became the youngest person ever to ski to the pole from anywhere outside the 89th degree. The -40°C temperatures and constant physical risks only served to spurn Jade further in her ‘polar quest’.

The next journey, a huge 550 km traverse of the Greenland ice-cap, would be even more gruelling. Over 27 days she would spend approximately 9 hours a day working towards her goal. In crossing the ice cap she would again make history as the youngest woman ever to do so.

In November 2017, just 16 years old, she took the step up to the ultimate challenge – the 600 km trip skiing from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole. Completing the trip in just 37 days, she would be recognised as the youngest person in history to have made the trip.

Towing a sled almost double her body weight in temperatures of -30°C across the desolate expanse of Antarctica requires a huge amount of fortitude and belief. Jade’s ability to overcome every obstacle is renowned, an attitude epitomised in her actions upon completing the expedition.

When online trolls had previously challenged her to “make them a sandwich” the fearless teenager decided to do just that. She announced her arrival at the South Pole with a photo of her sandwich and an invitation to all making such idiotic comments to ski the 600 km trip to eat it with her.

Inventive, determined and passionate about what she does, Jade has won plaudits and awards, published books, starred in documentaries and given TEDx presentations. Through her achievements she has inspired young people around the globe to take up similar adventures.

Jade’s incredible sense of adventure is backed with a tireless voice for the Antarctic continent, for her generation and for the work needed to protect the future of both. She has inspired all of us at the IAC to strengthen our advocacy for the sustainable future of Antarctica.