Author(s): David Jensen
In 1911, the Australian Antarctic Expedition under Douglas Mawson left Hobart on the Aurora, headed for Antarctica. Much is known about Mawson and tales of his exploits are often retold. But Mawson did not go alone. What of the men who set off with him and without whom he could have achieved little? Who were they? Where did they come from? The 32 land-based members of the AAE of 1911-14 selected to explore part of the Antarctic continent where no person had set foot before, had an average age of just 26. They included three doctors, two soldiers, engineers, sailors, a Rhodes Scholar, a meteorologist, wireless operators, a photographer, a former 'female' spy, a lawyer-cum -mountaineer, an architectural draftsman and scientists. Just three had previously experienced the cold, loneliness, potential danger and isolation that only Antarctica offers. The remaining 29 could safely be described as enthusiastic novices; some had probably never before seen snow. Two of them were not to return, but all will remain part of the Antarctic's 'heroic era' of exploration.
David Jensen started his career in journalism in New Zealand, working as Chief Reporter for the Waikato Times before moving to Sydney and joining Australian Associated Press. David worked as the Chief London Correspondent and Chief Political Correspondent Canberra before being appointed General Manager of Reuters Economic Services in 1980 and then Executive Director of AAP in 1987...David is heavily involved in charity work, establishing a charity golf event in conjunction with the financial markets to raise funds for childrens charities and medical research, and establishing the not for profit Mawson's Huts Foundation in 1997. The Mawson's Huts Foundation works to conserve Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison and has raised in excess of eight million dollars and funded 10 major expeditions to work at the historic site in East Antarctica. David is the founding chairman of the Foundation.