A Tasmanian biologist who helped eradicate cats from Macquarie Island and a Victorian chef with extensive Antarctic experience have been honoured with the 2005 Australian Antarctic Medal.

The awards to Geoffrey Copson and Andrew Tink were announced today by His Excellency the Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffrey, AC CVO MC (Retd).

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today congratulated Mr Copson and Mr Tink, saying their awards were well deserved.

Geoffrey Copson is a wildlife management officer with the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.

“Mr Copson was responsible for the initiation, planning and implementation of the pest control program that has seen the eradication of cats and the New Zealand Weka bird from sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island,” Senator Campbell said.

“His 30-year association with Australian Antarctic expeditions includes numerous tours of duty to Antarctica and Macquarie Island and he is a prolific contributor to scientific publications on sub- Antarctic flora and fauna.”

Senator Campbell said Casey Station chef Andrew Tink had spent long periods in Antarctica since 1997 — nine summers and four winters looking after the nutritional needs of expeditioners — with time at each of Australia’s other stations, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island.

“Mr Tink has served in a variety of roles, including search and rescue leader, deputy fire chief, hospital theatre nurse and boat driver providing logistic support to field science,” he said.

“However, he is best known for his culinary talents. Mr Tink is renowned for his contribution to station harmony and his involvement and dedication to community duties.”

Senator Campbell said the contributions of both men, above and beyond their day-to-day Antarctic service, made them deserving recipients of the 2005 Australian Antarctic Medal.