About Mawson’s Huts Foundation
The Mawson’s Huts Foundation was established as a not-for-profit charity in 1996 to conserve the historic huts at Cape Denison, East Antarctica, which were used by the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) as its main base for two years.
Led by Dr (later Sir) Douglas Mawson, the expedition’s huts are regarded as the birthplace of Australia’s Antarctic heritage and are protected by national and international law.
The Foundation has funded and organised 14 major expeditions to Cape Denison. This conservation and maintenance work needs to continue.
In 2013, the Foundation opened the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum on the Hobart waterfront, which helps to raise funds for the conservation program. The Replica Museum is rated by Tripadvisor as the No 1 Museum in Hobart.
In 2016, the Foundation also held the inaugural Australian Antarctic Festival that is held every two years attracting tourists from around Australia and overseas.
Our head office is in Sydney thanks to the support and generosity of Chimu Adventures.
As the definitive authority on Australian Antarctic heritage, the Mawson’s Huts Foundation will connect Australians emotionally and culturally with Australia’s Antarctic history and heritage through the stories and achievements of Sir Douglas Mawson and his influence across Antarctic exploration.
To conserve, protect and maintain the Mawson’s Huts complex and engage Australians with Sir Douglas Mawson’s story and Australia’s rich Antarctic heritage through iconic and inspiring visitor experiences and programs.
Inspire current and future generations by conserving and communicating the legacy of Sir Douglas Mawson’s expeditions, other Antarctic pioneers and Australia’s Antarctic heritage.
To conserve, protect and maintain Mawson’s Huts and educate the broader community about Australia’s rich and unique Antarctic heritage.
The Foundation will activate the 2030 Corporate Plan through 4 corporate strategies:
- Deliver conservation work on the Mawson’s Huts historic site complex at Cape Denison and other heritage sites and artifacts associated with Sir Douglas Mawson, as the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) preferred project partner.
- Position the Mawson Huts Foundation as the lead authority and guardian of the Sir Douglas Mawson story, and in doing so evoke curiosity and inspire discovery of Sir Douglas’s influence across Australia’s Antarctic program from the heroic era of Antarctic exploration, through to the founding of ANARE expeditions in 1947.
- Support the Foundation to achieve its goals through the development and management of iconic Antarctic visitor experiences in Southern Tasmania.
- Position the Mawson’s Huts Foundation in a place to effect maximum outcomes and influence through strengthening its financial security and governance processes
Corporate Plan 2030
Strategies and Outcomes
Conduct conservation work on the Mawson’s Huts historic site at Cape Dennison
- Develop and maintain a register of qualified heritage professionals available to conduct conservation works on Australia’s Antarctic heritage assets.
- Organise and undertake a conservation expedition to Cape Denison in 2019-2020, in conjunction with the Australian Antarctic Division.
- Develop a Mawson’s Huts Protection and Maintenance Works Plan for 2020-2050 in consultation with the Australian Antarctic Division.
Seek to reinvigorate the Federal Government’s Parliamentary Alliance and the government’s focus on Australia’s Antarctic Heritage. (The Federal Government’s Parliamentary Alliance the network of Australian politicians with an interest in Antarctica).
Undertake regular (ideally a minimum of every two years) inspections of Mawson’s Huts via the Australian Antarctic Division, French base of Dumont d’Urville, and visiting tourist vessels, (weather and conditions permitting).
Make up-to-date and accurate information regarding the conservation status of Mawson’s Huts available through the Replica Museum and other Mawson’s Huts Foundation publications and the web site.
- Raise the necessary funds and undertake an expedition to carry out the next stage of essential conservation work to protect Mawson’s Huts.
- Mawson’s Huts Conservation and Maintenance Works Plan documented and implemented in consultation with the Australian Antarctic Division and updated within 6 months of the return of each expedition (based on the Australian Antarctic Division’s Conservation Management Plan).
- A register of qualified heritage professionals available to conduct conservation works on Australia’s Antarctic heritage assets.
Embed the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum as an essential Antarctic education asset in Hobart.
- Seek the donation and/or loan of other original and authentic Antarctic heritage artefacts.
- Increase the number of trained Replica Museum volunteers.
- Seek professional curatorial assistance to display and care for artefacts and replica items.
- Undertake a review of the presentation of current displays to identify and address possible improvements and gaps.
- Develop and implement an effective Antarctic education programs for schools and the broader community.
- Utilise the space in 3 Morrison Street (formerly Kent and Kent Antique shop) as an Antarctic showroom during the summer of 2018-19.
- Investigate the installation of new and emerging technologies in interpretation (including and not limited to audio systems) in the Replica.
- Develop closer links with other tourist operators in Tasmania for cross-promotion and collaborative marketing of Mawson’s Huts and Hobart’s place in Australia’s Antarctic Heritage.
- Use the mobile Antarctic classroom to promote the Replica Museum.
- Develop and implement a data management system to maximise the connection with and support from visitors to the replica Museum.
- Develop and implement a social media strategy to promote the Mawson’s Huts Foundation and the Replica Museum.
- Increased year-on-year visitation numbers and income from the Replica Museum by 30 per cent of year end 2019 and 40 per cent by 2020.
- Enhanced display of key artefacts, replica items and reproduced documents within the Museum.
- Increased income and visitation from effective use of the visitor data-base.
- Increased year-on-year visitation and activity with school groups.
- Recognition that the Replica Museum and the Mawson’s Huts Foundation is an essential element in positioning Hobart as ‘Australia’s Gateway to the Antarctic’.
Expand the scope of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation’s interest to include the broader Antarctic exploration of Sir Douglas Mawson and other Australian Antarctic pioneers.
- Identify Australian explorers and heritage sites to be included in the Mawson’s Huts Foundation’s scope of interest in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic Islands.
- Increase visitor numbers and profitability of the Australian Antarctic Festival to promote Hobart’s Antarctic history, and promote public awareness of the nation’s Antarctic heritage and history.
- Build the event and project management capacity of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation in regard to the Australian Antarctic Festival.
- Encourage research and publication of Australasian Antarctic Expedition material.
- Increase the year-on-year distribution of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation newsletter “The Blizzard”.
- Be a pro-active and reasoned voice to protect and promote Australia’s Antarctic heritage.
- A defined scope of interest in Antarctic heritage and exploration for the Mawson’s Huts Foundation.
- Recognition of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation as a key stakeholder in Australian Antarctic history, heritage and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
Promote Australia’s Antarctic heritage by telling the stories of Australia’s Antarctic pioneers and significant heritage sites in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic Islands.
- Increase the interest and knowledge of Replica Museum volunteers in Australian Antarctic pioneers and explorers, Australia’s Antarctic heritage and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. (For example, compile a record of all Australian Antarctic Expedition written material and location such as all the applications to join the expedition, and McLean and Whetter Medical records.)
Develop knowledge and appreciation of Australian Antarctic pioneers such as John Rymill, Frank Hurley, Phillip Law, Hubert Wilkins, Louis Bernacchi and others.
Use the Australian Antarctic Festival as a vehicle to promote Australia’s Antarctic pioneers and heritage.
Develop resources and activities to communicate the stories of Australia’s Antarctic pioneers, heritage and activities.
Seek funding and support to implement research projects which provide information for story-telling.
Engage with high quality story-tellers to help enrich the tales of Australia’s Antarctic pioneers, and develop the story-telling capacity of the Replica Museum volunteers and staff.
Review and where necessary modify the role, function and membership of the Mawson’s Huts Museum Advisory Group
- Expanded content and distribution of the “The Blizzard“.
- Increased Replica Museum volunteer capacity and capability.
- New resources and tools for the Replica Museum and the Mawson’s Huts Foundation to communicate the legacy of Australia’s Antarctic pioneers and heritage.
- Updated structure, roles and functions of the Mawson’s Huts Museum Advisory Group
Pursue the establishment of an Australian Antarctic Heritage Trust.
- Establish a Board sub-committee to engage stakeholders and groups with an interest in forming a collaborative Australian Antarctic heritage group.
- Communicate the desire and intention of Mawson’s Huts Foundation to establish an Australian heritage group to the Australian Antarctic Division and liaise with the Australian Antarctic Division as the concept is developed.
- Explore possible legal and operational structures for an Australian Antarctic heritage group and identify any implications, risks and opportunities for the Mawson’s Huts Foundation – including analysis of the structures and scope of National Antarctic Heritage Trusts from other countries.
- Develop a discussion paper on Australia’s Antarctic heritage, and the desire of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation to explore and facilitate the establishment of an Australian Antarctic heritage group.
- Convene an Australian Antarctic Heritage Summit and present the Discussion Paper to determine the interest of key Australian Antarctic stakeholders and interest groups to work with Mawson’s Huts Foundation and co-design and establish an Australian Antarctic heritage group. Invitees to include – and not be limited to – Australian National Research Antarctic Expedition, Australian Antarctic Division, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Tasmania, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, South Australian Museum, Hobart City Council, CSIRO, Tasmanian Polar Network, relevant Tasmanian Government Departments, and other relevant bodies.
- A Mawson’s Huts Foundation Discussion Paper – a documented plan and ultimately formation of an Australian Antarctic heritage organisation with broad membership of stakeholders and interest groups.
- Hosting and following up of an Australian Antarctic Heritage Summit.
Build the strength, financial security and governance of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation.
- Stage at least one major public event annually to raise funds and promote the Mawson’s Huts Foundation.
- Increase the year-on-year profitability of the Replica Museum and Mawson’s Huts Foundation merchandise.
- Increase year-on-year sales of exclusive Mawson’s Huts Foundation promotional items on cruise ships and retail outlets.
- Increase the number of Board directors with well networked and diverse people with a demonstrated interest in the Antarctic. (At least one Board director to be in Tasmania).
- Build the capacity of the Australian Antarctic Festival as a primary flagship income source for the Mawson’s Huts Foundation.
- Determine the required capacity of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation secretariat and develop and implement a strategy to source the required funds to maintain the secretariat to the desired level.
- Develop and implement a national and international fund raising campaign.
- Develop a strategy to effectively engage and raise funds from the Mawson’s Huts Foundation member base.
- Develop and implement an annual operational plan which determines annual priorities – based on the Mawson’s Huts Foundation Strategic Plan 2019-2021.
- Design and implement a fundraising mechanism and strategy to enable the Mawson’s Huts Foundation Board to conserve and communicate Australia’s Antarctic heritage.
- A fully-funded Mawson’s Huts Foundation secretariat.
- Optimum numbers of volunteers and staff to achieve the objectives of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation.
- A minimum 1000 renewable memberships by end of 2019.
- An effective fundraising campaign and fundraising resources that achieves financial targets.
- A dedicated Australian Antarctic heritage fundraising mechanism and strategy.
Become involved and support our work
Help conserve Australia’s rich Antarctic heritage.
The Foundation is a not-for-profit charity seeking funds to promote and encourage public interest in the nation’s Antarctic history, including the conservation of Mawson’s Huts at Cape Denison, East Antarctica.
The Mawson’s Huts Foundation is a registered Deductible Gift Recipient with all monetary donations tax deductible.