Australian Antarctic Medals awarded 21 June 2021

Australian Antarctic Division

Two long-time Antarctic scientists and a plumber have been awarded prestigious Australian Antarctic Medals in recognition of their service to the Australian Antarctic Program.

The three medal recipients were announced by the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), on a special Honours List for Midwinter’s Day.

The Antarctic Medal is awarded to those who have given outstanding service in scientific research or exploration, or in support of this work through the Australian Antarctic Program.

In 2021, the medals are awarded to:

Dr Nick Gales

Nick Gales has made a significant and exceptional contribution to the Australian Antarctic Program spanning four decades.

Nick’s passion for scientific research lead to the development of a marine mammal program in the Southern Ocean and saw him heading non-lethal research to provide a scientific basis for sound conservation and management of Southern Ocean whales. He was instrumental in developing the Australian Marine Mammal Centre at the AAD and attended the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee meetings, which culminated in acting as a witness for Australia in the successful International Court of Justice finding against Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program.

Mr Timothy Price

Tim Price has been a cornerstone of the Antarctic community, first wintering at Davis Research Station in 1984 as a plumber followed by participation in 26 Antarctic seasons wintering, summering and round tripping.

Tim has provided innovative methods towards safety as well as energy and water conservation, implementing a more efficient way of heat recovery from the station power generation. His extensive knowledge of waste management, water reticulation, heating, ventilation and building systems are invaluable, as is his role as a mentor to new staff and expeditioners.

Dr Patti Virtue

Patti Virtue has been on numerous Antarctic science expeditions both at sea and on station over an extended period of time.

Patti works collaboratively across nations and disciplines, leading and contributing to many research publications covering diverse aspects of biological oceanography, sea ice ecology, zooplankton (krill) research and marine oils. Her exceptional work has been published in the prestigious ‘Nature’ magazine.

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