Pioneering Antarctic women honoured at Scott Base

First group of women to visit the South Pole
Pamela Young (fourth from L) was one of the first women to step foot at the South Pole. Photo credit: NZ History

Three pioneering female scientists have been honoured at New Zealand's base in Antarctica, including the first Kiwi woman to work on the ice.

Three laboratories at Scott Base's newly refurbished Hillary Field Centre were officially renamed on Monday morning, celebrating their efforts. Antarctica NZ's acting chief science advisor Dr Fiona Shanhun said the naming celebrates not just the pioneering women, but others who have worked at the base in the past and future.

"We're very proud of what they've done for the New Zealand Antarctic programme and helping pave the way for many of us here today," she said.

One lab was named after Pamela Young, from Nelson, who in 1969 became the first Kiwi woman to work in Antarctica, and one of the first six women at the South Pole - shortly after the US Navy lifted its ban on women travelling to the continent.

Also honoured were Thelma Rodgers, from the Nelson area, and Christchurch scientist Margaret Bradshaw. Rodgers was the first woman to spend a winter at Scott Base - at the time, sharing the station with 10 men - and worked as a technician. Bradshaw was the first woman to lead a deep field party in Antarctica in 1979 and was the first Kiwi woman to be presented with a Queen's Polar Medal.

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