A gift from France
Huskies became a part of Australia's Antarctic expeditions in 1949. Australia inherited the dogs from the French, in a deal brokered by Phillip Law, the then Director of ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions). On the voyage from France to Antarctica the French were unable to get their dogs to Adelie Land in Antarctica due to heavy sea ice. At this point the French asked Australia to take them into care to save the dogs enduring the sea journey back to Europe. Melbourne Zoo cared for them for a year until the French returned, and Australia kept the 31 pups born in the interim.
These pups were the breeding stock for Australia's Antarctic huskies, and their descendants remained a part of expeditions until 1992. The dogs outperformed the machinery of the day, particularly when it came to sastrugi (wind rippled ice) and creviced terrain, and were invaluable for scouting ahead of heavy machines to find the best route. They also needed no spare parts, and had cheap running costs.
Before the dogs made it to Antarctica in 1954, they were located on the sub-Antarctic Heard Island station. Here they were bred and trained for sledge pulling duties.
Heard Island lacked ice and snow in the spring and summer, so the dog handlers had to get inventive in their training methods. The expeditioners modified a jeep trailer and christened it the Dogmobile. This helped prepare the intrepid pups for life at Mawson Station.