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2021 Australian Antarctic Medals





Media Advisory


2021 Australian Antarctic Medals


The Governor-General today announced three recipients of the 2021 Australian Antarctic Medal, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Australian Antarctic Program.

“The Medals have been awarded to scientists, Dr Nick Gales and Professor Patti Virtue, and Trade Supervisor, Tim Price,” the Governor-General said.

"This year’s recipients show the breadth of expertise and commitment by expeditioners to Australia’s activities in Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and on Macquarie Island.

"The work they have undertaken is of immense value and, on behalf of all Australians, I thank them for their dedication and congratulate them on being awarded the Australian Antarctic Medal.”

The Australian Antarctic Medal is part of the Australian Honours and Awards system and recipients are announced each year on Midwinters Day, on 21 June.

The Medal, instituted in 1987, celebrates the outstanding service in scientific research or exploration in connection with an Australian Antarctic expedition, or in support of such work.

2021 recipients

Dr Nick Gales – for his outstanding contribution and leadership in Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research, by developing a marine mammal program in the Southern Ocean as well as leading non-lethal research to provide a scientific basis for sound conservation and management of Southern Ocean whales.

Professor Patti Virtue - for her outstanding contribution and her efforts in mentoring and teaching the next generation of Antarctic ecologists and her contribution to the understanding of the role of krill in the Southern Ocean ecosystem and the likely impacts of climate change to krill.

Mr Timothy Price - for his outstanding contribution, particularly in his capacity as a trade supervisor, station leader and expeditioner, ensuring the effective operation of Antarctic research station infrastructure and communities.

The Australian Antarctic Medal, established in 1987, is an award in the Meritorious Service Awards category of the Australian Honours System. 109 Medals have been awarded since 1987.

More information about recipients and the AAD is available at

Photos of recipients and a video message from the Governor-General are available at


Media Contact:

Rob Ayling,, +61 428 116 523