Sharon Labudda, an Aircraft Ground Support Officer (AGSO) with Australia’s Antarctic programme, was awarded this year’s Antarctic Medal. Sharon was the first AGSO employed by the Australian Antarctic Division with the introduction of fixed-wing aircraft operations within Antarctica in 2004. Since that time she has helped develop and refine the position, and those of others who have followed in her footsteps, to the highest degree of efficiency and safety. AGSOs work closely with all fixed-wing and helicopter flight crews, ensuring the smooth operation of air services between Australia’s Antarctic stations and field locations.
The Australian Antarctic Medal is an award in the Meritorious Service Awards category of the Australian Honours System. The Medal replaced the (British) Imperial Polar Medal and its variations, which date back to 1857 for service in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.