I’m delighted to advise that the announcement of Dr. Richard ‘Harry’ Harris as our Patron has sparked Australia-wide publicity and prompted many Wilkins enthusiasts to offer their services to the Foundation in various capacities.
People across Australia and beyond are telling us how keen they are to see the Wilkins star rise, and to challenge themselves – in our Patron’s phrase – to “Unlock their Inner Explorers”.
Renewed interest is evident also in biographical works about Wilkins and his contemporaries, including Simon Nasht’s The Last Explorer; Jeff Maynard’s Wings of Ice and The Unseen ANZAC; Malcolm Andrews’s Hubert Who? and most recently Lainie Anderson’s Long Flight Home. Cracking books all, and recommended, these books would make great gifts.
And if you missed the recent Melbourne Age article on Wilkins by Jewel Topsfield, Melbourne editor of The Age and former Indonesia correspondent for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, you can click here to read it (3MB PDF file).
One of the Foundation’s aims is to inspire young Australians by promoting educational material for schools that highlight the life of Sir Hubert. We are excited to advise that our Patron will be the keynote speaker at this year’s History Teachers Association of Australia conference to be held at Seymour College, Adelaide, on October 3.
Dr Harris will address 400 teachers from across the country on the life and times of Sir Hubert and encourage them to use Wilkins as a focus in their curriculum planning. Behind the scenes, we are busy creating an ‘Education Zone’ where teachers can share their schemes of work, and even upload Wilkins-themed student samples. If you are a teacher, please keep an eye out for this valuable resource in the near future.
We have a great evening planned for Sir Hubert’s 131st birthday on Thursday 31 October. The Foundation, together with The University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute led by Professor Bob Hill, is sponsoring Laura Kissel, Senior Curator of Ohio State University’s Polar & Climate Research Center, to deliver the 2019 Wilkins Oration at The University of Adelaide’s Braggs Theatre. Please mark your diaries for 31 October and spread the word. Tickets are $20, with proceeds to be applied to the cost of the event. They can be purchased by clicking here.
The Foundation’s resident historian and Wilkins scholar, Dr. Stephen Carthew, notes that Laura Kissel’s visit will enhance our ‘Bringing Wilkins Home’ project and strengthen bonds with Ohio State University, the world’s premier Wilkins archive, as we develop a history-rich Foundation website which, with the assistance of volunteer citizen-historians, will span the wide range of Wilkins domains.
Please note that with the advent of the Foundation, SHWIG (the Sir Hubert Wilkins Interest Group) has now been deregistered as an organisation. I take this opportunity to thank SHWIG’s Kaye and Andrew Ridge, other members of Wilkins’s extended family, and Mark Pharaoh from the South Australian Museum, who have done so much to raise Wilkins’s profile. The Foundation extends its thanks to everyone who supported SHWIG events.
Thankyou for your interest in Sir Hubert Wilkins and the Foundation’s activities. I look forward to seeing you at the Oration and other forthcoming events.
The Sir Hubert Wilkins Foundation