SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
AUSTRALIAN-BORN PHILLIP LAW, LEADING AUSTRALIAN SCIENTIFIC EXPERT
Phillip Law, the leading Australian-born explorer of his era, has died at the grand old age of 97.
An enthusiast for the outdoor life from boyhood - he was born in Tallangatta, Victoria on 21 April 1912 - Law achieved a Master's degree in Physics before joining the Royal Australian Air Force for the latter stages of World War II.
In 1947 he was seconded to serve as senior scientific officer aboard the Australian research ship HMAS Wyatt Earp, and in 1949 became leader of ANARE (the Australian National Antarctic Research expeditions). It was he who five years later set up Mawson Station, named after his famous predecessor and compatriot.
For 17 years Law was director of the Antarctic Division of the Commonwealth Department of External Affairs. He resigned in 1966, but continued to play a leading role in Australian scientific education,transforming existing institutes and advising on or taking the lead in the founding of new ones.
In 1960-61 Law had been awarded the Founder's Gold Medal of the RGS and made a CBE. His numerous awards included the Queen's Polar Medal and the medal of the Royal Australian Geographic Society. He was for 20 years an Officer and then, from 1995, Companion of the Order of Australia. He chaired or presided over many prestigious committees in the field of physics and polar and scientific research. He was a character who enjoyed life, not least outdoor sports, to the full.