Hazel Edwards was a 2000/2001 recipient of the Australian Antarctic Division’s Humanities Program. A Melbourne-based author of over 200 publications for adults and children including the classic There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake, Hazel Edwards uses participant-observer research as an excuse for doing unusual things in order to write realistically afterwards.

As Tournament of Minds problem-writer, she created an Antarctic science scenario and solutions were performed by more than 60,000 students Australia-wide.

Hazel was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2013 for services to literature.

Bibliography of Hazel’s Antarctic works

Since being ‘beset’ in Antarctica in 2001, Hazel Edwards has written books, DVDs and plays based on her expedition research including:

Antarctic Writer on Ice (Common Ground Publishers) which is an e-book with colour photos as well as a conventionally printed book, on audio and in Braille. It was serialised on radio in 2006.

The classroom play ‘Antarctica; Cool or What?’ is in Right or Wrong (Phoenix Education) co-scripted with Goldie Alexander. This has a separate Teachers’ Notes book of classroom activities.

Antarctica’s Frozen Chosen (Lothian/Hachette), an eco thriller aimed at young adults, especially appealing to ‘young blokes’. It was nominated for Davitt crime writers award 2004, was serialised on Radio in 2004 and 2005. An audio version is available.

Antarctic Dad (Lothian/Hachette) with free downloadable classroom play-script and iceship model. An audio/braille version is available.

Auslan signed DVD Grandma Leaps the Antarctic including ‘My Gran’s Gone to Antarctica’ and ‘The Lachieberg’. It received the 2005 Educational Excellence in Innovation Award .

Any Ants in Antarctica? (Comet magazine)

Healthy Women (Choice Books) contains an interview with Antarctic Station leader Marilyn Boydell.

Antarctic Impression

Since my Antarctic voyage, when speaking to groups, I use the iceberg as a symbol for writing a book: 9/10 of the work is unseen.

A respect for the work of ‘boffins’ and ‘tradies’ as excellent problem-solvers and tall story tellers has crept into my Antarctic non-fiction and novel characterisation. On-going contact with diversely skilled expeditioners has enriched my life. We still e-mail. They've helped me with plot details, scientific data and photos.

As Tournament of Minds problem-writer, I created an Antarctic science scenario and solutions were performed by more than 60,000 students Australia-wide. More watched.

At conferences, I present the viewpoint of a female, non-scientist, 50 plus author who concludes the Antarctic medical should also test for a sense of humour.

Pre-voyage, I thought physical strength would be vital, but words matter as a way of coming to terms with the scale of Antarctica and many readers have gained vicarious experience because books can travel further than one writer.

I was seduced by the surreal beauty of the icebergs and the serendipitous literary opportunities.

Maybe the Arts Fellowships will give birth to new Antarctic literature?


Hazel Edwards writes quirky, thought-provoking fiction and fact for adults and children. Coping successfully with being different is a common theme. Co-written junior novel Hijabi Girl soon to be a Larrikin Puppets musical post-pandemic and young adult novel f2m; the boy within, which has inspired a graphic novel, explore cultural diversity.

Best known for There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake series, recently touring as a musical, Hazel has grandkids for whom she writes a story each birthday. Outback Ferals her young adult novel set in Darwin, is a sequel to Antarctica’s Frozen Chosen, researched during her 2001 Antarctic Arts Fellowship.

Hazel runs book-linked workshops on ‘Authorpreneurship’ and ‘Writing a Non Boring Family History’. ‘Complete Your Book in a Year’ is a yearlong master class at PROV (Public Records Office) and all her mentored ‘Hazelnuts’ finish their projects.

Trail Magic; Going Walkabout for 2184 Miles on the Appalachian Trail with her son Trevelyan is an adventure memoir. He did ALL the walking.

A National Reading Ambassador, in 2013 Hazel was awarded an OAM for Literature. Her memoir ‘Not Just a Piece of Cake-Being an Author’ explores longterm creativity.

Interested in stories crossing mediums, Celebrant Sleuth; I do or die an adult mystery with an asexual sleuth is her latest AUDIBLE fiction, plus the sequel Wed Then Dead on The Ghan available on Kindle and being adapted as a screenplay for ABC.

Hazel served on the board of The Australian Society of Authors’ for 20 years and is the current patron of the Society of Women’s Writers (Victoria).

Husband Garnet does her BAS, daughter Kim advises on marketing and three grandsons act as readers, so writing is an Edwards’ family trade.

She also reads in the bath.

Hazel’s website contains Antarctic resources and links relevant for school projects and teachers.