Australian Imperatives

Raising awareness to build future capablility. 


Climate Protection and Observation


Pioneers and History


Career spotlight

Introducing Ray McMahon, an Antarctic Veteran whose passion for all things nautical and exploring led him to the Antarctic to support scientists and to grow ecotourism. 

Ray’s maritime career has sailed through amazing world events, from the Cold War between the USSR and USA, to competing in two Sydney to Hobart yacht races.

A true engineer and innovator at heart, Ray even expanded the market for Germany’s favorite car, the VW Beetle.

Just don’t mention his work with the Ford Edsel.   

The VW that could and did..

Bugs on Ice

The challenge of providing transportation for getting around the Antarctic goes beyond the environment, winter conditions impose difficulty for water cooled engines – enter the humble bug.

Innovation goes far....on the ice

The winter conditions of the Antarctic present a marketing bonus for Volks Wagen and perhaps more cars for the base station?

Kista Dan

The MV Kista Dan played a vital role in the establishment of two ANARE stations: Davis and Mawson.

Built in Denmark in 1952 by the J. Lauritzen Lines, the Kista Dan's diesel-powered engine and hull form were capable of navigating in difficult ice conditions. ‘Kista’ is a Scandinavian name; ‘Dan’ means from Denmark (Danish).

Thala Dan

Built in 1957 in Denmark, the MV Thala Dan was a substantial ship for the time. Following the success of the Kista Dan, the J. Lauritzen Lines built another two ships of the same type, but larger and more powerful: the Thala Dan and the Magga Dan. Each ship was ice-strengthened for navigation in polar waters. ‘Thala’ is a Scandinavian name; ‘Dan’ means from Denmark (Danish).

Magga Dan

Like the other Dan ships, the MV Magga Dan made a significant contribution to resupplying Australian Antarctic stations, and facilitating mapping, surveying and exploration. The Magga Dan was constructed in Denmark by the J. Lauritzen Lines, and was equipped with very similar features to the Thala Dan.'Magga’ is a Scandinavian name; ‘Dan’ means from Denmark (Danish).

Nella Dan

Without doubt, the Nella  Dan was the most famous of the J. Lauritzen’s Dan ships to serve with ANARE.

Built by the Aarlborg Shipyard Pty Ltd in 1961 with input from the Antarctic Division, the Nella Dan was named in honour of Nel Law, wife of the Director Phillip Law.

At the time of its construction, the Nella Dan set the standard for polar vessels. 


Working in the Antarctic

Amazing People and Opportunities

Working with Philip Law, a life long relationship.

Antarctic Imperatives