Brand Tasmania Newsletter, April, 2002, Issue 18
Tasmania's ancient physical links with the Antarctic are paralleled by its historical associations, which date back to 1777 when Captain James Cook sought refuge on tranquil Bruny Island, off the coast of Hobart, after circumnavigating Antarctica.
Over 200 hundred years later Tasmania's links to Antarctica have grown from strength to strength. Hobart houses the scientific headquarters for many national Antarctic research institutions and supplies the Australian, French and Italian bases on Antarctica. Antarctic ships from the US, China and Russia also visit Hobart's deep water port. Most recently Hobart was awarded the contract for the Australian Antarctic Air Link.
To celebrate Tasmania's special connection with the driest continent on earth, is the recent announcement made by Tasmania's Premier, Mr Jim Bacon, for Hobart to host the inaugural Antarctic mid-winter Festival to be held from Saturday June 15 - Sunday June 23.
The festival, organised by an enthusiastic public-private partnership, hinges around the winter solstice - the shortest day and the longest night of the polar year.
For international newsmakers, the series of lectures being hosted by the Royal Society of Tasmania will be the event to watch. Organised by Professor Michael Stoddart (Chief Scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division) the talks by scientific experts in the fields of glaciology, climate change, oceanography and biology will take place over the nine days. They will present information that is of international significance.
In addition to a strong scientific theme, the festival will also offer unique occasions for those who attend. From a rare opportunity to board the powerful orange ice-breaker, the Aurora Australis, to an Antarctic Film Festival which will showcase rarely seen historical material and leading edge wildlife documentaries. Glacier rescue teams and husky demonstrations will also form part of the festival.
Contact: estival organiser, Paul Cullen (formerly station leader at Casey station),
Phone: 3 6233 5949 or
For further information contact: