Postcards from the frontline

A traverse across Australia’s Antarctic policy

Featured in

  • Published 20220503
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-74-0
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

POLICY DEVELOPMENT CAN be an arcane process, so I’ll begin this exploration of Australian Antarctic policy on a lighter note.

After the 2013 election I was commissioned by the Australian Govern­ment to prepare a report on Australia’s Antarctic strategic interests. In October 2014 Greg Hunt, the then Minister for the Environment, was in Hobart to publicly release that report, Australia’s 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan. In the heat (or perhaps it was the excitement?) of the moment, Hunt departed from his prepared notes to discuss the protection of walruses. It was one of those moments when the only thing you do is to try to keep a straight face. Tasmanian journalist Andrew Darby – a specialist in Antarctic affairs and conservation – was somewhere in my line of sight; I made sure I made no eye contact.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Tony Press

Tony Press is an adjunct professor at the University of Tasmania. He was director of the Australian Antarctic Division from 1998 to 2009 and...

More from this edition

The face of the Earth at the end of the world

EssayAntarctica has withstood many acquisitive claims. If the era of the Antarctic Treaty has ostensibly elevated the idea of co-­operation as humanity’s guiding ideal in the south, possessive urges tenaciously remain.

Understanding interconnectivity

Memoir THERE’S NO EXPERIENCE on Earth like diving under the ice in Antarctica. On life support and in an uninhabited and extreme environment, it’s as...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.