Australian Antarctic history
The Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is the largest territorial claim over the continent and covers much of east Antarctica. The total area is approximately 5,800,000 km² – about the area of Australia excluding Queensland.
It consists of all islands and territories south of 60°S between 45°E and 160°E, excluding the French sector of Terre Adélie, which comprises the islands and territories south of 60°S and between longitudes 136°E and 142°E.
The Australian claim is based on discovery and a long historical association with this part of Antarctica. The first Australians in Antarctica demonstrated endurance in establishing a connection with the continent and commitment to science and innovation by dedicated scientists and explorers. Those such as Douglas Mawson, John King Davis, Hubert Wilkins, John Rymill and Phillip Garth Law saw the potential for Antarctica's scientific wealth and showed conviction in pursuing it.
Australia is among seven nations which have claimed territory in Antarctica. The other claimant nations are Argentina, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.
The film footage below was taken by Frank Hurley on the 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Douglas Mawson and includes images of the expedition departing Hobart and the installation of the radio mast on Macquarie Island, a critical communication link between Antarctica and Australia.