In September 2018, Dulwich College International welcomed the Honorable Alexandra Shackleton to deliver its fourth annual Shackleton Lectures, which feature stories from expeditioners and explorers who have made exceptional journeys over air, land, and sea, and in doing so have demonstrated the extraordinary capacity of human beings.
The Shackleton Lectures are named in honour of Dulwich Alumnus Sir Ernest Shackleton, who is a world renowned Antarctic explorer. To have his granddaughter speak at the eponymous lecture brought heightened emphasis to Pioneering Spirit ambitions, which is a key quality which Dulwich College International looks to develop in all students and staff.
Ms Shackleton visited all schools in the Dulwich College International network, starting in Seoul, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Singapore, and ended in Yangon. Her talks focused on her grandfather’s series of Antarctic expeditions, emphasizing his strong leadership qualities focusing on endurance, courage and teamwork.
The apex of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s exploration career was the 1914-1916 Trans-Antarctic Expedition, in which the team’s ship, the Endurance, got caught in an ice floe and was eventually crushed. Although the expedition did not reach the South Pole, after an arduous journey of 800 miles in a lifeboat and an overland trek across South Georgia Island, Shackleton’s outstanding leadership led to the rescue of his entire 28-man crew. “Although the expedition did not reach its goal, the manner of failure made him immortal,” reflected Ms. Shackleton.
The Shackleton Lectures are one of the highest profile events in the school’s calendar, bringing the most fascinating people to share their stories with students. The Shackleton Lectures reinforce the values of grit, determination and courage and how that, and a sense of adventure, should be applied to everyday life.