Support young women to explore science through the outdoors

A woman wearing a red jacket and blue leggings takes measurements on the ice on Brewster Galcier.

“When I first heard about the Girls* on Ice project, it was as if I had been waiting ‘on ice’ to contribute to a cause close to my heart. To awaken the possibilities for girls to be introduced to the opportunities of the sciences at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is something I want to support.

“I’ve been there myself. I was a country girl with local schooling and missed the possibilities that this programme offers. I’m very keen to encourage girls towards all that this delivers.”

Beverley McCombs, Girls* on Ice supporter

Te Hauhunga—Girls* on Ice Aotearoa New Zealand is an innovative programme offering young women an expedition to a New Zealand glacier. The first expedition will take place in early 2024, and combine glaciological science, art, outdoor exploration, and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), and will provide these young women with the opportunity to spend time with scientists, artists, and mountaineers.

We know that many young girls are interested in science, the outdoors and environmental protection, but often drift away as they get older. This results in fewer women in the science professions and, in particular, fewer women from underrepresented backgrounds.

The Girls on Ice programme aims to inspire the next generation of women scientists, artists, and expedition leaders. It will be headed by Dr Lauren Vargo and a team of world-leading female researchers from the Antarctic Research Centre who are passionate about encouraging young women to explore science as a career path.

“When I was a teenager, I had the privilege to experience the outdoors through a local mountain club programme that was specifically designed for young people. The experience changed my life; not only did I fall in love with snow, but I also realised what possibilities lie out there waiting for me. Today, I'm a snow scientist, and I know that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Dr Ruzica Dadic, Girls* on Ice Aotearoa Co-Founder

To ensure young women from all walks of life can take part, spaces on the expedition are being offered free of charge. Without philanthropic support, this programme cannot happen. Your gift will contribute to expedition costs such as gear, transport, guides, and food. Please consider supporting Girls* on Ice, and inspiring young women to achieve their full potential.

*Expeditions welcome female-identifying, non-binary, and intersex students.

For more information on this exciting initiative contact:

Development Manager, Health
Victoria Foundation · Development Office