Vale Jon Stephenson
Fuchs Trans Antarctic Expedition 58
Jon graduated from the University of Queensland with first class honours in geology. In 1957 he was appointed the Australian member of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (TAE), the first expedition to cross the Antarctic continent. Later that year Jon surveyed the previously unexplored Shackleton Range by dog sledge.
Jon gained his PhD in London, and worked for a time with UNESCO in West Pakistan, where he conducted geological research in the Himalayan region. He led climbing expeditions in the Himalaya, one of which saw him come within 500 m of the then unclaimed summit of K12 (7500 m).
Jon summered at Heard Island in 1963. Despite nearly perishing in an attempt to make the first ascent of Big Ben on Heard Island, Jon went on to make the first geological survey of the island.
In 1961 Jon established the geology department at James Cook University, where he worked until his retirement in 1995.