The Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Dr Tony Fleming, has announced he will be leaving the Division in August.

Dr Fleming became the Director of the Australian Antarctic Division in 2011, leading Australia’s Antarctic program and managing the Australian Antarctic Territory, and the Territories of Heard and MacDonald Islands.

Dr Fleming said it has been a privilege to be at the helm of such a strategically important Government organisation for four years.

“The work of the Australian Antarctic Division and its dedicated employees, both in Kingston and on station, is nothing short of remarkable,” Dr Fleming said.

“The team’s passion and dedication to their roles has been an inspiration, from trailblazing scientific research to internationally important polar policy and complex operational activities in East Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

“I am proud to have been a part of such a dynamic organisation and to have played a role in steering the future direction of Australia’s Antarctic program, ensuring we continue to work collaboratively with our international partners to improve global understanding of this magnificent region.”

During his time with the Division, Dr Fleming has been the Australian Commissioner of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), playing a key role in developing a proposal for Marine Protected Areas off East Antarctica.

In 2012 he led a very significant commemorative voyage to Mawson’s Hut at Commonwealth Bay as part of the centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–1914.

Dr Fleming has also driven the modernisation of the Australian Antarctic program, including the procurement process for a new Australian icebreaker to replace the ageing Aurora Australis.

He championed the importance of promoting understanding and awareness of the value of Antarctica and the Australian Antarctic program by encouraging visits by high level officials, including hosting the first visit by an Australian Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AD CVO.

Dr Fleming has held senior executive positions in both the Federal and New South Wales public service for more than 20 years and in the not-for-profit sector.

Dr Fleming is leaving the position for personal reasons.

The Environment Department will publicly advertise for the next Director of the Antarctic Division.