Australia Day Awards

Two AAD project teams received Australia Day Achievement Awards this year; for successful air transport operations and planning the 2003–04 Heard Island expedition.

The work of the AAD Air Transport Team to introduce two CASA 212–400 aircraft (‘Ginger’ and ‘Gadget’) into Antarctica, has significantly advanced preparations for the potential introduction of intercontinental air transport between Australia and Antarctica. In presenting the award, AAD Director Dr Tony Press said the project team had shown great initiative in all their endeavours, and responded efficiently, with good humour and creativity to every request and direction received.

The Heard and McDonald Island Marine Research Project Leadership Team coordinated the ambitious expedition to Heard Island and surrounding seas in 2003–04. The project aimed to relate the feeding and foraging activities of large, predatory animals on Heard Island, to their food stocks in the Southern Ocean. The project also examined the effects of climate change on the island’s glaciers and vegetation. Work at numerous locations on Heard Island and aboard the RV Aurora Australis, required a high level of support coordination. ‘The success of the Heard Island expedition was due to meticulous planning by the Leadership Team, coupled with strong support from colleagues in Kingston, on Heard Island and aboard the Aurora Australis,’ Dr Press said.