Australian Antarctic Medal nominations

The Governor General with a row of medals on his chest pins a medal to the chest of a scientists.
Matt Filipowski received his 2008 Antarctic Medal from the Governor-General at a ceremony at Government House in Canberra. (Photo: ID Photographics)

The assessment and appointment process for a candidate to receive an Australian Antarctic Medal is currently being reviewed by the Australian Antarctic Division. The information provided below indicates the standard of service that is required to be considered for the award.  

Anyone may nominate an expeditioner for an Australian Antarctic Medal. In most cases a nomination should be supported by other persons in addition to the primary nominator.

To be considered for the award of the Australian Antarctic Medal the candidate must have provided outstanding service to Australia's Antarctic Program. He or she must:

  • Have spent at least twelve months in the Antarctic (this may be accumulated, for example, over several summers – it is not necessary to have wintered)
  • Have made a significant, unique contribution to the Australian Antarctic Program – simply carrying out the prescribed duties of his or her position, or completing the required research, no matter how well is, by itself, insufficient unless there are circumstances of unforeseen and very considerable hazard or difficulty
  • Have demonstrated commendable work attitudes and value as a member of the expedition, station group, or field party.

The award may, in exceptional circumstances, be nominated for all members of a field team where all have contributed notably to the achievement which it is desired to commend.

As a guide to what the Committee considers is encompassed by ‘outstanding’, it is seen as being a combination of commitment, contribution, performance, persistence and ‘going the extra mile’.

The Committee does not see the Australian Antarctic Medal as a ‘long service award’.

Nominations for the Medal should be timely and relevant and should be made at, or soon after the time of outstanding service. As a guide, no more than five years should lapse between the service for which recognition is sought and the submission of the nomination.

Under no circumstances should the candidate be aware that he or she is being nominated for the award.

The AAD may undertake further research into the candidate and may contact other persons familiar with the candidate’s work. 

Nominations are not restricted to Australian citizens and the Medal may be awarded posthumously.

Information regarding the nomination process will be provided here ahead of the 2015-16 Australian Antarctic program season. 

This page was last modified on 24 June 2015.