Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic Dr Sharman Stone has praised the work of Tasmanian children’s writer and illustrator Coral Tulloch whose book 'Antarctica — Heart of the World’ she launched today in Hobart.

Dr Stone said that Ms Tulloch’s book was a marvellous example of the Australian Government’s Antarctic Humanities Program working to the public benefit.

The Humanities Program aims to increase understanding and appreciation of Antarctica by enabling historians, writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers and others to experience Antarctica first hand with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

Coral Tulloch travelled with the AAD to all four Australian stations in Antarctic in 1999.

”'Antarctica — Heart of the World’ is an educational tool for children aged nine years and beyond, and introduces them to the Australian Antarctic Program in a fun and instructive way,” Dr Stone said.

“It also captures the essence of the frozen southern continent and tells, too, of Australia’s pioneering history in Antarctica during the 'Heroic Era’ early last century and of the extraordinary hardships endured by Sir Douglas Mawson and his companions during their 1911–1914 expedition.

“This is a comprehensive book that covers the diversity of Antarctica. It takes us on a journey that encompasses the history of the continent when it was once part of Gondwanaland, its role in helping scientists better understand global climate, Australia’s participation in scientific research, the birds, fish and mammals of the region, the fragility of plant life, human impact on the Antarctic environment, life at an Antarctic station and survival in the extreme conditions,” Dr Stone said.

“The book also contains enchanting illustrations by the author along with historic pictures by noted Australian photographer Frank Hurley, modern-day photographs and accounts by expeditioners who have had the privilege to travel to Antarctica.

“Coral Tulloch is to be congratulated for producing this engaging and informative book for young people everywhere. I am sure it will have wide appeal,” Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone is currently reviewing the Humanities Program to ensure that it continues to offer to a wide range of Australians an opportunity to interpret the Antarctic through different disciplines and creative milieu.