Antarctic Medal award acknowledges quiet achiever

21 June 2002

The 2002 award of the Antarctic Medal to a Hobart man was a public acknowledgment of his outstanding commitment and service to Australia's Antarctic work over many years, Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Antarctic said today.

"This award is for the quiet achievers – a public thank-you for a job well done", Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone was commenting on the announcement of the Antarctic Medal award today, Midwinters Day, by the Governor-General His Excellency the Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth AC, OBE.

The medal was awarded to a Tasmanian electronics engineer, Mr Jon Reeve, of Taroona, whose work has underpinned major Australian Antarctic marine science projects.

"Mr Reeve has spent many months at sea on the world's roughest oceans in support of research into the Southern Ocean and its resources – a central part of Australia's Antarctic program. This work is essential if we are to secure the future of this important region," Dr Stone said.

Mr Reeve's award citation noted his dedication to the maintenance of sophisticated ship electronics and scientific equipment and his major contribution to the achievements of Australian science in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, covering the full breadth of marine science activities.

A recent success of Mr Reeve was the organisation of a major Southern Ocean voyage involving 79 scientists from 14 countries.

Dr Stone said that Midwinter's Day was one of the most important marker days on the calendar for Aussies 'wintering' over on the frozen continent.

Today's announcement coincides with the Winter Solstice, 21June, the most important day on the calendar for Australians spending winter in Antarctica.

"At this time of year Casey receives only 2 hours of daylight, while Mawson and Davis experience twilight but no real daytime light", Dr Stone said.

"At midwinter, our 82 wintering expedition members - a mixture of scientists and support staff - join with the rest of the international Antarctic community to celebrate the return of the sun. Ice-water swims, theatre and a special dinner are traditionally the order of the day at each station".