The Silence Calling: Australians in Antarctica 1947-97.

An admiring but not uncritical historical account of the Australian bases and research in Antarctica.

p 96: After a death at Heard Island, the officer in charge noted after the burial that there was no prayer book and the service had to be improvised.

p. 215: Philip Law [first Director of the Australian Antarctic Division] “was also determined that there would be an adequate library for expeditioners (including an Encyclopaedia Britannica ‘to settle any arguments’), a wide selection of gramophone records, and a stock of 26mm feature films. He thought it particularly important to have polar literature in the station libraries. Medical officer Grahame Budd recalls:

Whenever he was overseas he would pick up second-hand copies of the polar classics, and both Heard Island and Mawson had marvelous collections—first editions of Shackleton and Mawson. We didn’t have much time to read, but when you do, it is a very good place to read about your predecessors.

p. 229: another version of the Pride and Prejudice story that is in Murray-Smith’s book.

p. 461ff: in the late 1980s women began being appointed station leaders at Australian bases. Joan Russell was appointed at Casey Base in 1990, and presided over ‘The Big Poster Year.’ The station’s Casey Rag routinely published a ‘girlie’ third-page photo which the women regarded as sexist and the men lacking any concept of sexism or harassment. Russell’s complaints received no backup from the authorities at Hobart. Roughly the same thing happened at Mawson where the newspaper in 1990 continued to include sexually explicit pictures, though banned from the kitchen. Medical Officer Lynn William said this on the issue: “Women read romantic novels and men read pornography. It would make more sense if we all knew what everyone was reading. And then you can choose the way you want to live your life anyway…it doesn’t worry me whether there were pictures…[of] nude women around” (p. 464). Bowden suggests improvement on these harassment issues by the end of the century.