The inaugural Phillip Law Medal has been awarded to Australian Antarctic Division scientist Dr Martin Riddle.
The award, convened by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Club, recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Antarctic affairs and the Antarctic community.
Since he joined the Antarctic Division in 1994, Dr Riddle has led a research program focussing on protecting the Antarctic environment and cleaning up the impact of human activities (such as fuel spills) at Australia’s Antarctic stations.
‘Dr Riddle has directly contributed to major advances in environmental understanding and management through guidelines and measures adopted throughout the Antarctic Treaty system,’ said the President of the ANARE Club, Ingrid McGaughey.
‘His infectious enthusiasm for the polar region has also been passed on to many students, scientists, media and the wider community.
‘He is a highly respected and influential member of the Australian Antarctic program and a very worthy recipient of the inaugural Phillip Law medal.’
In accepting the medal, Dr Riddle expressed gratitude for the opportunity, support and confidence provided by the Australian Antarctic Division, saying it has been a privilege to lead the human impacts research program.
‘As I reflect on my time with Australia’s Antarctic program I have been continually reminded that not only is Antarctica important to Australia, due to its proximity and its influence over our climate, but it is also important to Australians.
‘In the same way that Australians value our beaches, outback and reefs, they also value the Antarctic and have very high expectations for our environmental stewardship of the region. As custodians of the region we carry a great responsibility to meet these expectations.’
The Phillip Law Medal is designed to be a prestigious and ongoing tribute to the Australian Antarctic pioneer. It recognises the important work being done by individuals in Antarctica across a range of areas including science, technology, leadership, administration and environmental management.
Corporate Communications, Australian Antarctic Division