Elsa Buckley


Elsa is a 15-year-old student at Whangarei Girls’ High School. She is a leader in her school’s environment committee, who advocate for composting, recycling and other environmental practices as well as undertaking weekly clean ups. After attending BLAKE Inspire in August 2022, Elsa began a fruit tree planting project at her school. This was both to create a more environmental, green space and more importantly to provide kai for the estimated 300 students at her school who go without food on a regular basis. This project was alongside her school’s ‘no hunger’ petition, which is petitioning to get government-funded lunches for her school’s students, particularly those most in need.

Elsa works at Northpower, Northland’s electricity distribution company, creating a presentation for primary and intermediate students about the tuna (eel) transfer programme that Northpower runs around their Wairua hydro-electric power station. This is for a local school, Mangakahia Area School, to help them to better understand the importance of protecting tuna as a taonga species with both environmental and cultural importance. Elsa is active in her community with volunteering, as part of the Student Volunteer Army. She competes at Junior Rider level in Showjumping, and has been selected this year to represent Northland in football as part of the Northland U16 girls’ team, who play in an Auckland NRFL league. This year Elsa is working towards completing her Duke of Edinburgh Gold.

Elsa is passionate about the environment, and is driven to make a difference. She has a love for the outdoors, and so is very excited to be given the opportunity to travel to the remote Campbell Island, where she hopes to better understand the ecosystems there, and the effects climate change have had on them. Elsa is particularly excited to be part of an expedition focussed on environmental science, as she is considering this as a career pathway. Elsa looks forward to making new friendships with like-minded students, and is honoured to be part of the 2023 Sub-Antarctic Expedition crew.