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Dr Ben Maddison


Avid historian and climber, Ben’s love of history began during his high school years. His passion for history led to an MA in Social and Industrial history and a PHD in Australian history. For many years, Ben was an academic specialising in polar, colonial and working class history in the History Department at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales.

An active researcher, Ben is published extensively in Australian and international historical journals. His book Class and Colonialism in Antarctic Exploration, 1750– 1920 (Pickering & Chatto, 2014) is a study of Antarctic exploration ‘from below’, focusing on the sailors, sealers, whalers, cooks, mechanics, engineers, stokers and radio operators, who were all necessary in bringing the upperclass ‘hero explorers’ to the continent and supporting their expeditions. He is currently writing A History of the Southern Ocean (forthcoming, Routledge 2018), gazing out on his subject matter from Bruny Island, Tasmania, where he lives.

When not writing, Ben engages in his other lifelong passions for exploring wild places. Ben has pioneered climbs in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, Greenland and North Wales and he is currently developing new rock climbing routes in the Bruny Island area.

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