Jesse Blackadder - Antarctic Arts Fellow 2011, 2018

Woman posing with aged fibreglass assistance dog
Jesse Blackadder with 'Stay' at Mawson station.
Australian writer and academic Jesse Blackadder was the recipient of the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship in 2011. She was also awarded a Fellowship in 2018 collaboration with Jane Allen.

Ms Blackadder used her 2011 Fellowship to work on several projects but in particular to research an historic novel about Ingrid Christensen, the first woman to see Antarctica. Her novel gives glimpses into the life of a woman on an Antarctic whaling ship in the 1930s. It also tells the story of how exploitative whaling devastated populations in the Southern Ocean. Chasing the Light was published by HarperCollins in February 2013.

Ms Blackadder, who writes extensively across a range of media, shared the experiences of her Antarctic trip through social media; magazine articles and as a subject for her academic project, presentations and lectures, including a talk at the State Library of New South Wales (January 24, 2012). Her article ‘Heroines on the Ice’ about female experiences of Antarctica appeared in Australian Geographic in March 2013. Jesse’s essay ‘The first woman and the last dog in Antarctica’ won the 2012 Guy Morrison Prize for Literary Journalism.

Inspired by a dognapping incident on her field trip, Jesse has written a novel for 9-12 year olds about Antarctic canine legend ‘Stay’, published by HarperCollins.

While spending summer at Mawson station in 2018/19, Jesse collaborated with television writer, producer and creator Jane Allen on an adventure novel about the first children’s expedition to Antarctica, and a contemporary television drama series about life on an Antarctic research station.