In brief

Departmental change

After a federal election in August 2010 the Australian Antarctic Division became part of the Department for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, under the portfolio of the Hon Tony Burke, MP. For further details see

Australian Antarctic Expedition centenary

Almost 100 years ago, on 2 December 1911, Mawson’s scientific Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) left Hobart bound for Macquarie Island and East Antarctica. Mawson’s 1911–14 AAE was the first wholly Australian Antarctic expedition. From 2011 Australia celebrates the centenary of this expedition and 100 years of Australian expeditions in Antarctica. The Australian Antarctic Division has developed a web site which will list events and activities celebrating the occasion. The site also provides links to other AAE and Mawson-related sites. For more information visit

The Mawson’s Huts Foundation has initiated a number of fund-raising projects to mark the AAE centenary. These include the production of limited edition gold and silver coins, 100 ml bottles of 100-year-old port, and a full length documentary on Mawson, the AAE and the conservation project. To increase public awareness of Mawson and his 1911–14 expedition, construction of a full scale replica of the Main Hut is planned for the Hobart waterfront. The Hobart City Council has approved the use of Council land opposite Mawson Place, subject to planning approval. It is envisaged that construction will be completed prior to the centenary celebrations in December 2011 and that the hut will become an important tourist attraction for Hobart. The Foundation has also launched a membership drive to help raise funds for the conservation of the historic huts at Cape Denison. This includes the publication of a regular newsletter titled The Blizzard. Further details relating to Foundation activities can be found at

Station Leaders 2011

Casey: Dave Buller is a career Army officer with a background in logistics and in particular amphibious operations, including time as a LARC operator. Dave has led teams during a variety of postings that have included time spent on Navy amphibious ships and deployments to East Timor, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. Dave has recently returned from three years in Ontario as the Australian Army’s Liaison Officer to the Canadian Defence Force, where he worked with a number of foreign militaries, multinational organisations and dignitaries. Dave comes to the Antarctic Division on secondment from the Army in Canberra. He enjoys fitness training, mixed martial arts, BMW motorbikes and travelling. He and wife Tarni have two children, Kyl-Shane (8) and Taylor-K (3).

Davis: Graham Cook returns to Davis after previously working as the Station Leader at Mawson (2005), Davis (2007) and Casey (2009). Graham previously worked as Operations Manager with Federal Hotels’ Strahan Village Resort and Manager of Gordon River Cruises on Tasmania’s west coast. He has also been responsible for the operation of a number of Aboriginal community stores and Aboriginal enterprise developments in remote regions of Australia. Graham has travelled extensively throughout South East Asia and is a keen mountaineer, skier and bushwalker.

Mawson: Mark Williams has been a police officer with the Queensland Police for 30 years, and has gained a diverse range of operational and managerial leadership experience with small to large teams. Mark is a keen traveller and has trekked in Peru, China and Portugal, and made various other trips to experience different cultures. He also enjoys skiing and bushwalking and regularly competes in triathlons and marathons. He hopes this will be the first of many trips to Antarctica. He lives in Brisbane with his wife and daughter.

Macquarie Island: Ivor Harris will take over as Station Leader at Macquarie Island from October 2010 until April 2011. Ivor was a Station Leader at Casey (2003) and Mawson (2006) and has worked as a veterinarian, laboratory animal scientist, microbiologist, TAFE teacher and Army officer. Ivor is currently a scientific manager with the Australian Army Malaria Institute in Queensland where he has coordinated major studies, including field research teams in areas such as East Timor and the South Pacific. After recently diving on the wreck of Lapérouse’s Astrolabe in the Santa Cruz Islands, Ivor is hoping his own voyage on the L’Astrolabe will be less eventful.

Trish Macdonald will take over from Ivor in April until mid-2012. Trish has worked as an instructor and guide for Outward Bound in Australia and Canada, and Wilderness Expeditions in Australia and Nepal — where she guided climbing, skiing, white-water rafting and bushwalking trips. She has a background in natural resource management and wildlife research and has worked as a ranger and wildlife ecologist with various national park services for 22 years. She currently works for the Threatened Ecological Communities listing section in Canberra. Trish has experience in feral pest control and research and is looking forward to assisting the rabbit and rodent eradication program on Macquarie Island.

If you’d like to see and hear more about our station leaders you can view short videos of them on the Australian Antarctic Division website.

Lessons in an Ice Box

Tasmanian primary school students and teachers can now experience Antarctica through two Ice Boxes available through the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Each Ice Box contains Antarctic objects provided by the Australian Antarctic Division, the Tasmanian Polar Network and others, which reflect the Antarctic environment, the history of Antarctic exploration and its connection with Australia, and the people in Antarctica today.

TMAG’s Manager for the Centre for Learning and Discovery, Andy Baird, says the objects include 1950s sledging biscuits, karabiners, ice screws, expeditioner clothing from the heroic to the modern era, emperor penguin chicks, polar medals and a coal sample from the Prince Charles Mountains. The boxes themselves also have a history of use in Antarctica by the Australian Antarctic Division, transporting field equipment for marine voyages and continental expeditions.

The Ice Box objects come with a teachers’ guide that details the provenance and background information for each object, as well as a series of large laminated photographs and a few key reference books, including Mawson’s Home of the Blizzard and Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s The Worst Journey in the World.

To borrow an Ice Box contact TMAG at or (03) 6211 4189.

Historic naming of Antarctic glaciers

Six glaciers in the Australian Antarctic Territory have been officially named in honour of historically significant figures and groups who have played an important role in the Antarctic region or Australian history. The new names were recommended by the Australian Antarctic Names and Medal Committee. The glaciers are all situated in the area explored by Sir Douglas Mawson during his Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911–14. The names reflect the contributions to Antarctic exploration in the first part of the 20th century, and of some members of the first Australasian Expedition who have not yet been recognised. They are: James Forbes Glacier, Williams Glacier, Jeffryes Glacier, AAE Glacier, ANZAC Glacier and BANZARE Glacier.