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The Australian National University

Public seminar

Australia's Antarctic strategic interests in the 21st century

Vodcast: Watch the video

Tony PressAustralia asserts sovereignty to 42% of the Antarctic continent and has a long involvement in Antarctic exploration and science. Australia also has important economic and environmental interests in the Great Southern Ocean. We are an original signatory to the Antarctic Treaty which, among other things, establishes all that part of the globe below 60 degrees South as a region free of military conflict and nuclear arms.

While Australia has been a leading player in Antarctic affairs for more than a century, Australian leadership should not be taken for granted as new countries emerge as significant participants in the Antarctic treaty System. This NSC public seminar will explore the emerging issues in Antarctica and their implications for the Antarctic Treaty System and for Australia’s Antarctic policy.

In October 2013, Dr Tony Press was commissioned by the Australian Government to undertake a review of Australia’s Antarctic engagement and to develop a 20 Year Strategic Plan. The terms of reference for the development of the plan included consideration of:

  • The strategic importance of Australia’s Antarctic interests
  • Expanding the role of Tasmania as the gateway for Antarctic expeditions and scientific research
  • Ensuring robust and reliable access to the Australian Antarctic Territory
  • Extending Australia’s reach across the Australian Antarctic Territory
  • Committing to undertaking nationally and globally significant science
  • Committing to exercising influence in the region through the Antarctic Treaty system.

Dr Tony Press is the Chief Investigator for the Australian Government’s 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan and Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania. Until July this year, he was the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart. Prior to that, from 1998 to 2008, he was the Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Australia’s Commissioner to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, the Australian Delegate for the Antarctic Treaty and the Australian Representative to the Committee on Environmental Protection (as well as its Chair from 2002 to 2006). Dr Press has had a long career in public administration and has a particular interest in the links between science and policy.


Speaker: Dr Tony Press
Date: Tuesday 9 September 2014
Time: 5.45pm – 7.00pm
Venue: Weston Theatre, Crawford Building #132, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU
Seminar flyer: Download the flyer

The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and ANU.

Updated:  29 January 2015/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College