Public seminar on the conservation of Mawson's Huts in Antarctica

20 March 2003

A seminar in Canberra tomorrow will hear of the achievements towards the conservation of Sir Douglas Mawson huts at Cape Denison in the far eastern part of the Australia Antarctic Territory.

Mawson's Huts Historic Site is the only site that represents Australian accomplishments during the 'heroic era' in Antarctica.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic Dr Sharman Stone said that the huts were built and occupied by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-14, led by Mawson.

"The AAE was the earliest large-scale scientific program by Australians outside Australia following the nation's Federation and was the foundation of the modern Australian Antarctic program," Dr Stone said.

"The ingenuity, courage and endurance of the AAE, and the physical legacy of its achievements, give Mawson's Huts national and international heritage significance."

A team from the Australian Antarctic Division recently spent eight weeks at Cape Denison conducting conservation works on Mawson's Huts and associated artefacts.

In this seminar, members of the project team will discuss the team's achievements in protecting the buildings and artefacts. Dr Stone has invited the public to participate in this report on Australia's most important Antarctic heritage site.

The seminar will be held at 1.00pm tomorrow (Fri) at the Reef Room, John Gorton Bldg, Parks, Canberra.