Bernadette Hince travelled to Antarctica in the summer of 03/04. Bernadette is based in Canberra where she works as a natural history writer and science editor. She has won awards for her writing and historical research and is the author of The Antarctic Dictionary.
Author and academic at the Australian National University, Bernadette Hince said “Travelling to Macquarie Island [was] the highlight of my year. It was a fantastic opportunity to see an island I’d been studying for years. The journey has made the island come alive for me and that is exactly what I want to do for my readers when I write about its history. As a result of my trip there, I have a much deeper understanding of the place, and I can imagine life on Macquarie as a sealer in the 1810s or as a woman biologist in 1959, when women first went south with the Australian Antarctic Division. I want to give the island a voice that includes these experiences.”
Bernadette submitted her PhD for examination in May 2005. The thesis was titled 'The teeth of the wind: an environmental history of subantarctic islands', covering the subantarctic islands of Kerguelen, St Paul, Heard, Macquarie, Auckland and Campbell.
Bernadette was awarded the Australian Academy of Science Basser Library Fellowship, which she took up in July 2005. In January-March 2006, she was an Overseas Visiting Scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, and spent this time researching at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge.
In recent years, Bernadette has published two books and two articles on Antarctica which received TV and radio coverage.
The books were edited and annotated diaries. Her edition of the 1953 Heard Island journal of John Béchervaise, Unique and Unspoilt (National Library of Australia, Canberra 2011), was launched by John’s fellow expeditioner Fred Elliott. Still No Mawson: the 1911–13 Antarctic Diaries of Frank Stillwell (Australian Academy of Science, Canberra 2012) was launched in May 2012. It was very exciting to have many relatives of Frank Stillwell in the audience, including his niece Marjorie Collins (his closest surviving relative).
Both articles were connected with food. ‘What do people eat in Antarctica?’ was in the December edition of the National Library of Australia’s Magazine (pp 11–14). ‘Heard Island penguin pie’, a recipe and story on Heard Island’s history and food, was in A Taste of Islands (edited by Anna and Godfrey Baldacchino - Prince Edward Island Press 2012).