Australian Biography: Phillip Law


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1993, 26 Minutes

Phillip Law was a scientist and Antarctic explorer. He was the director of the Australian Antarctic Division for nearly 20 years.

Phillip showed early academic ability and at the age of 16 became a teacher. He loved skiing and mountaineering and became fascinated by Antarctica.

In 1947 he was appointed Senior Scientific Officer on Australia's first post-war Antarctic expedition and in 1949 he became Director of the Australian Antarctic Division. Law was Director of the Division until his retirement in 1966. During that period he established the Mawson, Davis and Casey stations and led numerous voyages to explore the coast of the Australian Antarctic Territory.  

After his retirement, Law occupied a variety of other positions, among them Chairman of the Australian National Committee on Antarctic Research, and Council Member of the University of Melbourne. He is the author of the book Antarctic Odyssey.

For his pioneering work Law has received numerous awards including the Founder's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, London and the Gold Medal of the Australian Geographic Society. In 1995 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to science, particularly in the field of Antarctic exploration and research, and to education.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. © National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Free Teachers’ Notes - Download here

NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.


Producer/Director/Writer: Frank Heimans

Interviewer: Andrea Stretton

Year: 1993

Running Time: 26 Minutes

Classification: G

Curriculum Links: Antarctic Studies, Australian History, English, Environmental Studies, HSIE/SOSE, Science.


Antarctic Pioneers

SKU 199104602
Brand Film Australia

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