Media Program

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

Informing the public about the Australian Antarctic Program and the Division’s science and operations in Antarctica is important. The media play a crucial role in raising the profile of this work and shaping public attitudes to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean region.

Supporting journalists

The Australian Antarctic Division 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 3253

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 2017/18 Media Program will be open for three weeks from May 10-31.

This season media will have the opportunity to be involved in one of the following trips;

  • Two weeks to Davis research station via air transport
  • A round trip to Australia's Wilkins Aerodrome via air transport
  • Three weeks to Macquarie Island research station via sea transport

Interested journalists or media networks should contact the Australian Antarctic Division media team to express interest and discuss proposed projects. Individual representatives and/or media organisations are able to submit applications.

The Media Program does not support feature film proposals.

Application Process

Applications are to be made online using a form which will be available when the media program opens in April.

Applications need to address the selection criteria:

  1. 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.
  2. Detail the target audience, with preference given to significant Australian audiences across a variety of media platforms (web, broadcast, print, social media).
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of Australia’s engagement with Antarctica and the research undertaken within the Australian Antarctic Program.
  4. 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.
  5. State the number of people in the reporting team. Operational and logistical commitments means no more than three people will be able to be supported.

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 AAD 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 flights to Australia’s Wilkins Aerodrome or berths on its icebreaker Aurora Australis. Both depart from Hobart. Media visits can last from a week, up to several months, if incorporating time on the ship. The trip may include a visit to Casey, Davis or Mawson research stations or the sub Antarctic Macquarie Island.

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 while on the trip. It will also provide an Antarctic cold weather clothing kit, which includes inner, mid and outer layer 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.

The AAD will require participating media organisations to enter into an Access and Support Deed.

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:

  • Provide 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 non-commercial purposes.
  • Agree to acknowledge the Australian Antarctic Division 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 around $1000 and 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 may 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 selection 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 further please contact Media Manager Nisha Harris.

Phone: (03) 6232 3253
Email: media@aad.gov.au