In the early days of Antarctic exploration, Australian scientists were involved in exploring to seek answers from the unknown wilderness.

One of Australia’s most famous Antarctic scientists is Douglas Mawson, the geologist and explorer. Supported by a team of capable biologists, geologists, meteorologists, physicists and cartographers, Mawson led two Australian expeditions to expand knowledge of Antarctic science, and pioneer research in the field. Expeditions were made possible by the entrepreneurial spirit, drive and innovation of Antarctic pioneers such as Frank Wild, Walter Hannam and John King Davis. Majestic Antarctic landscapes and the day-to-day expedition life captured by photographer Frank Hurley, and artist and biologist Charles Harrisson, caught the public's imagination.

Australian expeditions were championed by advocates such as T.W. Edgeworth David, Lord Richard Casey, and Phillip Law.

Once the preserve of men only, in recent times Antarctic science has been advanced by Australian female scientists who have made notable contributions to their fields.