Governor-General pinning medal on Captain Doyle
The Governor-General pinning a 2011 Antarctic Medal on Captain Doyle (Photo: Glenn Jacobson)

Captain Murray Doyle has made an outstanding contribution to the on-going success of Australia’s scientific and logistic activities in Antarctica as the Master of the RSV Aurora Australis. He has developed an exceptional level of experience and skill over 16 years of operating in the Southern Ocean and continually applied these with dedication and energy to his work, becoming an integral lynchpin in the shipping operations of the Australian Antarctic Program.

As Master of the RSV Aurora Australis Captain Doyle has responsibility for the safety of the vessel and all those sailing in her through the harsh sea and ice conditions of the Southern Ocean. Whilst never compromising safety Captain Doyle has made an extraordinary contribution, which goes well beyond the normal expectations of a ship’s master, to ensure the scientific objectives of voyages have been successfully achieved.

His perception and judgement in dealing with the challenging conditions of the Southern Ocean instil confidence in the ship’s crew and all expeditioners aboard the RSV Aurora Australis. Under Captain Doyle’s leadership, problems that could well have otherwise halted operations, are often resolved because of his exceptional seamanship and his commitment and enthusiasm to do whatever is possible to achieve the voyage objectives. Under his guidance crew and scientists work side-by-side to undertake complex scientific tasks.

Captain Doyle recently exhibited these skills to ensure the RSV Aurora Australis was able to safely refuel Mawson Station when an iceberg was blocking the harbour entrance and displayed calmness and leadership when the weather conditions deteriorated rapidly and both the operation and assets were put at considerable risk. His commitment to the goals and people of the Australian Antarctic Program and the application of his skills and experience mean that Captain Doyle clearly goes ‘above and beyond’ as a ship’s master, and the ongoing success of Australia’s activities in Antarctica are testament to this.