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AUSTRALIAN HUSKIES IN THE ANTARCTIC

$23,905 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 100 people in 5 months
A monument to Australian huskies in the Antarctic


Huskies, first used in the in the Antarctic in 1898, faithfully served explorers and scientists for 105 years until 1994 when the Antarctic Treaty's environment protocol required that non-native species be removed.

Douglas Mawson, Australia's most famous polar explorer, was the first Australian to use huskies in Antarctica.  During Mawson's 1911-14 Australiasian Antarctic Expedition, huskies helped his party explore the coastline and interior of what became the Australian Antarctic Territory.  When Australia established its first permanent scientific station on the icy continent in 1954 huskies became a vital part of the research programme for the next 40 years.

These hard working, loyal companions pulled heavy sledges across the snow and helped to navigate, detect crevasses and safely cross thin sea ice. Their immense contribution to Antarctic exploration will be recognised by a life-sized bronze monument to be placed outside the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum in Hobart. It has been commissioned by the not-for-profit charity, Mawson’s Huts Foundation, established in 1997 expressly to conserve the historic huts built and used as Mawson’s main base at Cape Denison, East Antarctica, for two years. The spectacular bronze of two huskies and a sledge is being funded in part by a special grant of $58,000  from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) but the Foundation is seeking Crowd Funding to supplement its own contribution to complete the project.

During the last 20 years the funded and organised 13 expeditions  to Cape Denison  to save and conserve the historic buildings.  It has also built and operates the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum which is currently rated by TripAdvisor #1/17 of museums in Hobart.  The Museum assists in funding conservation expeditions to Mawson’s Huts and helps promote the story of Douglas Mawson and his important contribution to Australia’s Antarctic history. The Foundation has a Registered Charity Tick from the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission.

How your funds will be used

Your pledged donation for the sculpture will pay homage to these powerful and iconic animals, telling the story of their contribution to the exploration of Antarctica and the fundamental part they played from the heroic era to the scientific age. This includes the story about the loyal huskies that accompanied Mawson and those that served at later Australian bases.

The monument will give enjoyment to many people. Children will be able to sit on the sledge, just as Mawson did, and it will appeal to all visitors to the Hobart waterfront which has historic links with the Antarctic. The city is the gateway to the continent for the Asia-Pacific region and the centre of Australia’s Antarctic activity.

All of Mawson's huskie
s departed from Hobart. It is appropriate the monument to their work be sited outside the Replica Museum, adjacent to the wharves where the dogs boarded ships for the Antarctic.

The bronze is being designed and cast by Hobart-based artist Dan Tucker and will be installed on the lawn outside the Replica Museum later this year. 

The huskies which will feature in the monument were two of Mawson’s dog  team which lived and worked at Cape Denison. They are named after "Basilisk" and "Alexandra"  who both lost their lives during the ill-fated Far Eastern sledging journey by Mawson which resulted in the deaths of his two companions, Lt Belgrave Ninnis and Swiss ski champion Xavier Mertz. The men were the official dog handlers at the Cape Denison base where 29 huskies lived and served the expedition. "Basilisk" was the king of the pack and "Alexandra" (also known as "Ginger Bitch") was his faithful mistress. Both perished during the trek from whic
h Mawson barely survived when Ninnis and 12 huskies plunged down as crevasse to their death. The survival of Douglas Mawson left a legacy of Australian involvement in the Antarctic that continues to this day.


Please help us keep the Mawson story alive. Help us create the only permanent monument to Australia’s Antarctic huskies.

Mawson's Huts Foundation is a not for profit registered charity and all donations over $5.00 are tax deductible.


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$23,905 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 100 people in 5 months
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