Waltzing More Than Matilda


This blog post was first published on December 3 2011, and substantially revised and reposted on December 10 2015.

Famous Namesake
Yesterday marked one hundred years since the Australasian Antarctic Expedition set sail from Hobart in the SY Aurora on December 2, 1911. It arrived at an unexplored region of Antarctica on January 8, 1912, and set up base camp. The site proved to be unrelentingly windy, with constant blizzards that made things hellish for the intrepid explorers.

Douglas Mawson was one of the leaders on the expedition. A geologist and lecturer from the University of Adelaide, he had been asked to join Robert Scott’s British expedition to find the South Pole (Scott was famously beaten to the punch by Norwegian Roald Amundsen). Mawson turned him down, as he thought it would be better to take his own team, and lead an expedition to the unexplored bits of Antarctica…

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