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Beyond the heroic stereotype: Sidney Jeffryes and the mythologising of Australian Antarctic history


Leane, E and Maddison, B and Norris, K, Beyond the heroic stereotype: Sidney Jeffryes and the mythologising of Australian Antarctic history, Australian Humanities Review, 64 pp. 1-23. ISSN 1325-8338 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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In 2010 the Australian Antarctic Names and Medals Committee announced that it had named a glacier near Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica in honour of Sidney Jeffryes. Jeffryes was a member of Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), 1911-14, and the decision to attach his name to an Antarctic feature, coming just before the centenary of the AAE’s departure, reflected a gradual historical revisionism around the expedition occurring at this time. Seeking to ‘honour … historically significant figures … whose contributions [to the AAE] have not yet been recognised’, the Committee also attached the names of two other previously ignored members of the expedition to glaciers (AG, ‘Australian Antarctic Glaciers Named’). In 2017 this approach was extended to include the non-human, when 26 islands, rocks and reefs around the site of the AAE headquarters were named in honour of the ‘beloved dogs, which played a critical role in Australia’s heroic era of exploration’ (AG, ‘Mawson’s Huskies’). After nearly a century of focus on the ‘Great Man’ of Australian Antarctic history—Mawson—the criteria for significance were beginning to broaden.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australian Antarctic history and historiography, Australian Antarctic expedition, Sidney Jeffryes, Douglas Mawson, exploration history and memorialization
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Leane, E (Professor Elizabeth Leane)
UTAS Author:Maddison, B (Dr Ben Maddison)
UTAS Author:Norris, K (Professor Kimberley Norris)
ID Code:133275
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT120100402)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-06-20
Last Modified:2020-08-24
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