The Australian Antarctic Medal, established in 1987, is an award in the Meritorious Service Awards category of the Australian Honours System. The Australian Antarctic Medal replaced the (British) Imperial Polar Medal and its variations which date back to 1857 for service in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
The Australian Antarctic Medal is awarded by the Governor-General with the authority of the Queen to an Australian citizen or other person nominated by the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Antarctic matters, who has given “outstanding service in scientific research or exploration, or in support of such work, in the course of, or in connection with, an Australian Antarctic Expedition”. Recipients of the Australian Antarctic Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters “AAM”.
The Governor-General announces the awards in a special Honours List on Midwinter’s Day, 21 June, a time of traditional significance to all who have worked in the Antarctic.