The Wilkins Foundation Timeline

The Wilkins Foundation is grateful to have been given permission to digitise and publish online a comprehensive timeline that was compiled by Elizabeth Chipman. Elizabeth Chipman is an Australian writer, administrator and Antarctic pioneer. In 1975–76, she was one of the first Australian women to set foot on the Antarctic mainland. From 1954 to 1977, Chipman was with the Australian Antarctic Division, Melbourne, where she worked as a typist, information officer and scientific administrator.

During the summers of 1966–67, 1971–72 and 1975–76, she visited Macquarie Island with the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE). In 1975, she was assigned to the Antarctic mainland where she worked as an information officer. She was accompanied by two other women: the photographer Jutta Hösel and Shelagh Robinson, a welfare officer.

She was the first woman member of the ANARE Club. Chipman chronicled all of the women to travel to Antarctica up to 1984. She took pains to find the names of all the women who had ever been to or even near Antarctica and eventually donated 19 folio boxes of her research to the National Library of Australia, including papers relating to her books Australians in the frozen south (1978) and Women on the ice (1986). 

The timeline that is linked below is part of NLA Acc11071 which comprises research notes pertaining to the life of Sir George Hubert Wilkins compiled by Chipman for a biography that was not completed. Many thanks to Elizabeth for making her work available.

Additional thanks to Trish Burgess and Annette Carter from the UNSW Canberra for their work digitising this.

Click here for the NLA Guide to the Papers of Elizabeth Chipman.

Click here to read Elizabeth Chipman’s Digitised Timeline from papers held in the National Library.