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The Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is the part of Antarctica claimed by Australia and is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation. It consists of all the islands and territory south of 60° S and between 44°38' E and 160° E, except for Adélie Land (136°11' E to 142°02' E), which divides the territory into Western AAT (the larger portion) and Eastern AAT. It is bounded by Queen Maud Land in the West and by Ross Dependency in the East. The area is estimated at 6,119,818 km². The territory is only inhabited by the staff of research stations. The main station is Mawson Station. The Australian Government Antarctic Division administers the area primarily by supporting various research projects.

 

Davis Station in the Australian Antarctic Territory
 


The territory is divided into nine districts, which are from West to East:
No. District Area (km²) Western Border Eastern Border
1 Enderby Land   044°38' E 056°25' E
2 Kemp Land   056°25' E 059°34' E
3 Mac Robertson Land   059°34' E 072°35' E
4 Princess Elizabeth Land   072°35' E 087°43' E
5 Wilhelm II Land   087°43' E 091°54' E
6 Queen Mary Land   091°54' E 100°30' E
7 Wilkes Land 2,600,000 100°30' E 136°11' E
8 George V Land   142°02' E 153°45' E
9 Oates Land   153°45' E 160°00' E
  Australian Antarctic Territory 6,119,818 044°38' E 160°00' E

 

Victoria Land was first claimed for Britain on 9 January 1841 and Britain claimed Enderby Land in 1930. In 1933, a British imperial order transferred territory south of 60° S and between meridians 160 W and 45 W to Australia. The borders with Adélie Land were fixed definitively in 1938. In 1947, Britain transferred Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Macquarie Island to the territory. On 13 February 1954[1], Mawson Station was established as the first Australian station on the continent proper. As Australia is part of the Antarctic Treaty System, under its provisions it makes no effort to assert true national sovereignty over its claimed Antarctic territory.

Australia issues postage stamps for the Australian Antarctic Territory. The first issues came in 1957, and sporadically thereafter, settling into a pattern of an annual issue by the 1990s. All have been Antarctic-themed, and all are valid for postage in Australia, so in practice they are just Australian stamps with a different inscription.

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