Australian Antarctic Division

Antarctic Tasmania

Australian Antarctic Division

The Australian Antarctic Division is part of the Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and leads the nation’s Antarctic program.  Antarctic Division personnel have specific expertise in Antarctic policy, science, logistic support, polar medicine and administration. 

Scientific research

The division undertakes major science programs and individual research projects that contribute to our knowledge of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. It also conducts and supports collaborative research programs with other Australian and international organisations.

The Antarctic division’s headquarters houses laboratories for science, electronics and electron microscopy, mechanical and instrument workshops, a krill research aquarium, a herbarium, equipment stores, communications and other operational and support facilities.

The division has a substantial polar research library providing data and support for national and international clients.  It also has collections of photographs and audio-visual materials that form a major part of Australia’s Antarctic heritage.

Logistical support

The Antarctic Division seeks to work collaboratively with other organisations in the provision of logistical support for Antarctic and sub-Antarctic activities.  The icebreaker RSV Aurora Australis is the platform for a large annual marine research effort focussed on the Southern Ocean and assists in resupplying Australian research stations.  The division also operates an air link between Hobart and Casey station in east Antarctica.

Australia maintains three permanent stations on the Antarctic continent - Mawson, Davis and Casey and a sub-Antarctic station on Macquarie Island.  Remote field bases operate during the summer research season supporting coastal, inland and traverse operations.

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