Media Program

Nick Gales being interviewed by a news crew at Wilkins Aerodrome
Nick Gales being interviewed by a news crew at Wilkins Aerodrome (Photo: Kristin Raw)

Informing the public about the Australian Antarctic Division's science and operations is important to us and we recognise that the media play a crucial role in shaping public attitudes to the region.

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) offers opportunities for media representatives to travel to Antarctica during the polar summer to report on research activities on station, in the field and the Southern Ocean.

Supporting journalists

The AAD media team can assist journalists with resources to research stories, arrange interviews with experts and provide broadcast quality footage and images. Journalists are welcome to arrange to visit the AAD offices and laboratories in Kingston.

Phone: (03) 6232 3514
Email: media@aad.gov.au

Media visits to Antarctica

The Australian Antarctic Division offers opportunities for media representatives to travel to Antarctica to report on the work of the Australian Antarctic program.

The aim of the Media Program is to select journalists whose reporting will reach a broad audience, preferably through multiple media channels, and raise awareness of Australia’s scientific and operational activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

Applications for the Australian Antarctic Division’s 2016/17 Media Program will open for a four week period around April 2016.

Interested journalists or media networks should contact the AAD Media team well before applications open to express interest and discuss proposed projects. Individual representatives and/or media organisations are able to submit applications.

Proposals must:

  • Clearly define story ideas or a targeted proposal, noting that research projects vary from year to year which can influence which stories can be covered.
  • Detail the target audience, with preference given to significant Australian audiences across a variety of media platforms (web, broadcast, print, social media).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Australia’s engagement with Antarctica and the research undertaken within the Australian Antarctic program.
  • Demonstrate strong capabilities, professional reputation and track record of the applicant with supporting evidence if necessary. Individual applicants must attach documented support from their media organisation and a current curriculum vitae.
  • State the number of people in the reporting team. Operational and logistical commitments may restrict the number in the team able to be supported.
The Media Program does not support feature film proposals.

Application Process

Applications must be made online using a form which will be made available when applications open. Applications will need to address selection criteria based on the points listed above. Firm commitments in writing from editors or broadcasters to publish or broadcast the proposed work can be lodged as attachments. Supporting material must be provided electronically (via a website link or file upload).

Successful applicants will work with the Antarctic Division media team to refine their project as the summer season is finalised. Given the complexity of planning projects in Antarctica, applicants will need to be very flexible.

What the program includes and requires

The AAD offers seats on its Airbus A319 or berths on its research and resupply ship Aurora Australis. Both depart Hobart. Media visits can last from a minimum two weeks at Casey station but can be considerably longer if they incorporate time on ships or visits to other Antarctic stations.

Media Program participants are responsible for their own transport to and from Hobart and any accommodation costs incurred prior to departure for Antarctica and on return. The AAD will provide transport to and from Antarctica, as well as accommodation and food in Antarctica. It will provide on loan all outer clothing and footwear.

Successful applicants will be required to attend pre-departure training and briefings at the AAD in Hobart. The AAD does not provide insurance cover for the loss/damage of equipment or personal effects.

Every effort will be made to provide all the necessary support for successful applicants but recipients must accept that the primary purpose of logistics in Antarctica is to enable support for scientific research programs. Operational requirements of these programs may unfortunately limit opportunities at times.

The costs of completing stories gathered in Antarctica is the responsibility of the successful applicants. The originator of any work resulting from the Media Program will retain full copyright over the work but successful applicants are required to enter into an agreement with the AAD to:

  • Deposit with the AAD a copy of images or footage obtained during travel to and from and while in Antarctica.
  • Provide a copy of printed, published or broadcast work.
  • Agree to the use of any such material for the AAD’s own purposes.
  • Agree to acknowledge the Australian Antarctic program in credits and promotional material. In the case of TV programs or other screened material this means a full screen acknowledgement as outlined in any signed contract.

Medical

Medical examinations are required by all people travelling to Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division. These examinations are generally carried out by the Government Medical Officer or equivalent in your local area. The cost of the medical examination is at the expense of the applicant.

Some medical conditions preclude travel to Antarctica with our Program. Please ensure you have read and understood the medical checklist. You will be required to complete this form should you be successful. Please contact the Polar Medicine Unit if you have any questions about the screening process.

Successful applicants will be required to undergo a National Police History Check and complete a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Participants in the Media Program will need to follow the command structure of the AAD aircraft, ship and station and comply with Australian Work Health and Safety legislation. Environmental impacts may also need to be specially considered for some types of projects.

Evaluation

Applicants will be assessed on a competitive basis by a review panel against the criteria and supporting evidence. The Selection Panel will make a recommendation to the Minister for the Environment. The decision of the Minister is final. 

Further information 

If you would like to discuss the Media Program and register to receive a notification when applications open, contact the Corporate Communications section:

Phone: (03) 6232 3514
Email: media@aad.gov.au