Australia Antarctica
Medal - Antarctic Research Expeditions, Mawson, Davis, Casy Department of Supply c. 1977
Mint: Royal Australian Mint
Awarded to: Not issued
Other Details: Medal awarded to members of Antarctic Research Expeditions to Mawson, Davis or Casey bases by the Federal Department of Supply. A certificate was issued with the medal certifying that the receipent 'served the Commonwealth of Australia in the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions including a stay at [ ] in Antarctica over the winter of [ ] and to express the appreciation of the Commonwealth for his dedication to duty'. The medal, made by the Royal Australian Mint, was issued in a fitted presentation case with the Australian Coat of Arms on the front.

Physical Description

A bronze medal 54 mm diameter) depicting a globe showing Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand

Obverse Description


Reverse Description

Art centre a globe showing Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand; around, * AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ANTARCTIC RESEARCH EXPEDITIONS * MAWSON . DAVIS . CASEY ; in small letters the artist's initials, V.V.

Edge Description



The Australian Antarctic Territory was formally declared in 1933. In 1947 the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions was established to plan and co-ordinate Antarctic exploration and research.

Until 1958 all members of an Australian expedition who wintered on the Antarctic continent were awarded the Imperial Polar Medal. Awards were given on a team basis.

When it assumed responsibility for the Antarctic Division in 1968, the Department of Supply decided that those who wintered over should receive individual recognition. An exclusive Departmental award, the Antarctic Service Medallion (known unofficially as the Winterer's Medal) was conceived and subsequently approved by the Minister of Supply for issue by the Antarctic Division. It was awarded to those who wintered over in Antarctica (i.e. south of 60 degrees south) and at Heard Island. Eligibility was extended to include Macquarie Island in 1973.

Wintering is defined as at least six continuous months and such period must include Midwinter's Day (June 22). Exceptions are made if a person dies during a wintering, and the medallion is awarded posthumously.

The first style of the medallion with a certificate was awarded for service at one of the Antarctic continental stations from 1968. In 1988 individual medallions were struck for each station with the station name incorporated into the design.

The first issue of medallion for the years 1968, 1969 and 1970 was distributed in August 1971. Thereafter the medallions were usually brought by ship with the changeover staff and handed over by the Voyage Leader during the changeover ceremony.

The medallions, made by the Royal Australian Mint, are issued in a fitted presentation case with the Australian Coat-of-Arms on the front.

It was decided in 1997 to award this medallion retrospectively to those Winterers who had previously received no recognition either by way of an Imperial Polar Medal or an Antarctic Service Medallion.

As a result, medallions are to be issued in 1998 to expeditioners who wintered at Mawson, Davis or Wilkes in the years from 1959 to 1967, Heard Island from 1948 to 1954 and Macquarie Island from 1948 to 1972. Expeditioners who wintered more that once will receive a medallion for each wintering. Medallions will be issued posthumously to next-of-kin. - J.M. O'Connor 'Antarctic Service Medallion'. Aurora, December 1998. -D. Tout-Smith 12/1/2004.

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