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Aurora Expedition Symposium

Aurora Expedition Symposium

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson marked the first Australasian temporary occupation of Antarctica.

Mawson’s expedition returned to South Australia on 26 February 1914 with great fanfare. Now, one hundred years later, and with several more narratives available, the expedition is being re-examined.

This day-long symposium will focus on what has been omitted, forgotten, not well told or distorted.

Internationally renowned speakers include controversial historian David Day, author Meredith Hooper (2014 Australian of the Year in the UK), explorer Professor Chris Turney (recently returned to Australia from the 2013-2014 Australasian Antarctic Expedition), academic Elle Leane and environmental scientist Pat Quilty, along with descendants of expeditioners Sir Douglas Mawson and Cecil Thomas Madigan. Themes covered will include Aurora, Macquarie Island, science, main base, the recently published diaries of Mawson’s Adelaide University colleague Cecil Madigan, and the scientific and cultural legacies of this historic journey.

The symposium will be opened by His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia. Sessions will run all day with breaks for lunch as well as morning and afternoon tea, and followed by a cocktail reception to toast the centenary of the expedition's return.

Register Now
bookings essential

Date: Wednesday 26 February 2014,
Time: 9am – 6pm
Venue: Mawson Laboratories, North Terrace Campus, The University of Adelaide
Price: $125 Adults, $75 students/concession.
Enquiries: Mr Peter Burdon (08) 8313 4002


Time Presenter Topic
9am Prof. Bob Hill, University of Adelaide Introduction
9.15-9.45am Professor Martin Hand AAE Science Today
9.45-10.15am Dr John Ainsworth The Macquarie Island Wireless and Weather Station, 1911–1915
10.15-10.45am Mark Pharaoh Sealers, Wekas and Other Kiwi Influences on the AAE at Macquarie Island: Overlooking the New Zealand Contribution, 1911–14
10.45-11am His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia Official Symposium Opening
11-11.30am Morning Tea
Concurrent Sessions
11.30am-12pm H.J.G. Dartnall The Aurora’s crew 1911–1914
11.30am-12pm Pat Quilty Unfinished business: AAE science is still active
12-12.30pm Dr Elizabeth Leane High-Latitude Lassitude: Laziness and Leisure in the AAE
12-12.30pm Dr Andrew Atkin From Southern Cross to Aurora: a brief history of advances in Antarctic terrestrial magnetic research, 1898–1914
12.30-1pm Emma McEwin Penguins on Horseback and Douglas Mawson’s Iron Gut
12.30-1pm Meredith Hooper Playing the Game
1-2pm Lunch
2-2.30pm Heather Rossiter The boy from Adelaide, C T Madigan
2.30-3pm Dr David Day Countdown to Disaster: A discussion of the complex factors that caused the death of Xavier Mertz
3-3.30pm Jenny Hunter Chevalier de Tintail: Reflections on the life of John George Hunter and his contribution to the AAE
3.30-4pm Afternoon Tea
4-4.30pm Dr Anna Lucas Captain John King Davis, bringing Mawson and the team home
4.30-5pm Dr Bernadette Hince Antarctic Welcome Home Dinners
5-5.30pm Professor Chris Turney Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013–2014
5.30-6pm Conclusion