Thanks again to our generous sponsors, tireless volunteers and the whole Antarctic community for coming together in such a energetic way to deliver the Australian Antarctic Festival 2016. We achieved some remarkable goals. All photographs (c) courtesy of Ballantyne Photography and our brilliant volunteer AAF photographers
- 900 school children from 16 schools across Tasmania participated in free tours of IMAS and the Aurora Australis. They travelled from as far afield as Dover and Penguin to attend.
- 1,500 people booked guided tours aboard the Aurora Australis and L’Astrolabe, courtesy of P&O Maritime. Filing through the ships at 15-minute intervals led by volunteer guides, they met ships’ crew, scientists and former expeditioners for an inside look at Antarctic science and logistical support.
- The Antarctic Expo in Princes Wharf attracted an estimated crowd of 6,000 people over two days. Brilliant displays from Antarctic agencies and industry demonstrated just how important Hobart is as a gateway to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The linked Open Days at IMAS were a highly successful look at what kind of science we do and what it means to a changing planet.
- The Antarctic Photography Exhibition at TMAG saw some 4,000 visitors, entranced by beautiful and powerful images of the Southern Continent. Local photographer Chris Wilson won First Prize and the People’s Choice Award in a remarkable hat-trick and BOM meteorologist Barend Becker took Second Prize.
- Tony Worby’s lively and utterly convincing Phillip Law Lecture gathered a strong audience at CCAMLR and fuelled a hailstorm of questions and active debate that examined the compelling scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change.
- Hundreds of parents and children filled the lovely Parliament House Gardens to welcome the huskies after an exciting run along the length of Franklin Wharf. The event honoured the return of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen from the South Pole in 1912.
- The Royal Norwegian Embassy presented an unexpected but very welcome contribution in the form of a major exhibition of rare photographic material from the world-famous Fram Museum in Oslo. Her Excellency Unni Klovstad, Ambassador of Norway, personally opened the exhibit at Brooke Street Pier. We were honoured to host the Australian debut of the exhibition, which continues at IMAS.
- The State Cinema in North Hobart hosted a wonderful program of premiere-screening Antarctic features, including the first Tasmanian release of a 3-D Antarctic film, Antarctica: On the Edge. The screenings were almost completely sold out and we welcomed guest speakers from several Antarctic agencies including the AAD.
- UTAS researcher Dr. Lorne Kriwoken led a series of highly popular historical tours around the Hobart waterfront. Lorne provided fascinating detail and surprising insights, even for the most experienced Antarctic aficionado.
- The Mawson’s Huts Gala Fundraising Dinner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor saw more than 300 people gather from all sectors if the Antarctic community, as well as descendants of Mawson’s original expedition crew from the 1911-1913 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The dinner raised substantial funds towards the preservation of Australia’s most remote heritage property, the huts at Cape Denison in East Antarctica.
- The Penguin Project saw delightful 30 cm high painted penguins, created by 5,500 Australian school children at 110 schools in Tasmania and interstate, occupy ‘rookeries’ in Mawson Place. Twenty life-size penguins were created by notable Tasmanian artists with an amazing range of creativity and flair.
- The Derwent Symphony Orchestra presented a terrific concert of popular music from Douglas Mawson’s era, which filled the Hobart Town Hall to capacity and had the audience singing along to some surprisingly long-lived tunes.
The entire program of the Australian Antarctic Festival was designed and delivered by a crew of more than 120 volunteers, drawn from the Antarctic sector and from the broader Tasmanian community. Scientists, students, technician and administrators, photographers and Antarctic veterans came forward to make this a genuine celebration of the historical and living links that have bound Tasmanians to the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic continent for more than a hundred years.
Don’t miss the brilliant SHORT VIDEO by Joe Shemesh at Stormfront Film – it makes for some great memories!
Here’s the link… https://vimeo.com/187111249/7791c9bdb3 Feel free to pass it on!
So, until next time,
Australian Antarctic Festival