Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Teddy Bears Picnic at Rippon Lea House and Gardens in February 2015, the National Trust of Victoria has created a special Como Historic House bear, Bertram Bear, to send on Outback to Icecap, the world's first Indigenous Youth leadership development program led by Australian adventurer Peter Bland, which will see Indigenous youths visit Antarctica in December 2014.
A Teddy Bear Fundraising Campaign is being held to support the -Outback to Icecap' program and members of the public are being asked to show their support by registering a teddy bear to send to Antarctica.
The limited edition Bertram Bear of Como House honours Bertram Armytage - the first Australian to visit Antarctica on Shackleton's expedition in 1907 and member of the family that owned the historic estate.
The National Trust of Victoria CEO Martin Purslow said, 'The National Trust of Victoria has just adopted its second reconciliation action plan and is delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of a member of the Armytage family as well as support this innovative leadership program by the creation of our very own mascot for Como Historic House.
Sending Bertram Bear to the Antarctic contributes to a program that advances opportunities for Aboriginal youth and we are pleased to support this incredibly valuable initiative."
Dominic Romeo, a Director on the Board of National Trust in Victoria will travel with the team to Antarctica to mentor Indigenous youths from not-for-profit organisation Yalari who are taking part.
Dominic Romeo said, 'Outback to Icecap' is the world's first Indigenous Youth leadership development program to visit Antarctica and we are fortunate to have Australian adventurer Peter Bland leading our expedition. It promises to be a truly inspirational experience for the Indigenous youth taking part.
In addition to visiting Antarctica, Bertram and all the other sponsored bears and their owners will be part of a world-record attempt that will resonate with children, for the most Toy Bears visiting the Antarctic ice shelf."
For further information on the -Outback to Icecap' program, please visit http://leadershipgroup.com.au/index.php/leadershipgroup-adventure/mission
For further information on the Teddy Bear Fundraising campaign, please visit http://www.leadershipgroup.com.au/index.php/leadershipgroup-adventure/teddy-bear-campaign