A triangle shaped flag with seal and letters ANARE surrounded by rocks
The old ANARE flag (Photo: Christopher Wilson)

The ANARE Club has grown out of the Antarctic community’s common experience. Membership of this national organisation with branches in most Australian capital cities is open to anyone who has travelled to Antarctic or subantarctic regions with the Australian Antarctic program. Established in 1951, the ANARE Club is a rich and continually growing source of Antarctic experience and expertise, as well as providing a social focus for current and former expeditioners. The club’s membership has grown to many thousands of Australians and foreign nationals.

ANARE members gather for midwinter celebrations each year with other Antarctic veterans around the world and expeditioners of all nations. The midwinter dinner is is a time-honoured Antarctic tradition.

Emblems of ANARE

Soon after being appointed Antarctic Division director in 1949, Dr Phillip Law saw the need for a recognisable symbol for the fledgling ANARE. Nel Law, an artist and Philip's wife, created an emblem described by Law as "…a circular badge whose centre is the Antarctic continent with the Australian sector shaded. Surrounding this is an annular set of designs depicting flora and fauna of Antarctica and the subantarctic islands."

However, as Dr Law thought the emblem might be "too complex to reproduce as a lapel badge or as a logo on aircraft, vehicles or flags.", he explored the potential for the leopard seal as a simplified ANARE symbol. "I was struck with the possibility of formalising a sketch of the creature to produce a geometrical pattern of straight lines… I drew it in the national colours of gold and green."

In 1986, the agency was renamed the Australian Antarctic Division and the logo has since been reinvented several times. 

Phillip Law, Antarctic Odyssey, Heinemann, Melbourne 1983 

Antarctic Family and Friends Association

In 1965, Nel Law established the Antarctic Wives’ Association of Australia, to be a social link and source of support for wives of ANARE expeditioners. The organisation was later renamed The Antarctic Family and Friends Association as part of the ANARE Club.