A station leader, two pilots and a fisheries observer have been awarded the prestigious Australian Antarctic Medal in recognition of their service to the Australian Antarctic Program.

The Medals were announced by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) on a special Honours List for Midwinters Day.

The Antarctic Medal is awarded to those have given outstanding service in scientific research or exploration, or in support of such work, delivered under the Australian Antarctic Program.

The medals were awarded to:

  • Graham Cook for service as an Australian Antarctic station leader since 2004, having spent 66 months on the icy continent. Graham is recognised for the role he has played in leading and fostering an inclusive Antarctic community and mentoring other station leaders in their roles.
  • Garry Studd for service as a senior Skytraders pilot over the past 12 seasons. Garry is recognised for having been at the forefront of the Division’s aviation operations since flights between Hobart and Antarctica started, and for coaching and mentoring junior pilots.
  • John Oakes for service as an Antarctic helicopter pilot. John wintered in Antarctica and has also flown at Macquarie Island. He was instrumental in the medical evacuation of three injured expeditioners near Davis research station in 2013. John’s medal is being awarded posthumously — he passed away in 2016.
  • Martin Tucker for service as a fisheries observer, completing 31 voyages in the Southern Ocean in this role. Martin has spent significant time overseeing the important Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery and reporting back to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The Australian Antarctic Medal, established in 1987, is an award in the Meritorious Service Awards category of the Australian Honours System.