Syd Kirkby invested as an Officer of the Order of Australia


In the 2018 Queenís Birthday Honours List Natmapper Syd Kirkby MBE was awarded an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to surveying, particularly in the Antarctic, to polar exploration, research and mapping expeditions, and to professional scientific societies.


ANARE and Nat Map Service

Syd joined Nat Mapís Melbourne office in August 1959 after wintering at Mawson base with an Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition in 1956-57.† Syd again wintered in Antarctica in 1960.† Syd participated in further Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions during the summer seasons of 1961-62, 1962‑63 and 1964-65.


Syd became progressively involved with Nat Mapís topographic mapping activities in Australia from 1961.† From the start of the Aerodist program in 1963 Syd was a field party leader.† In 1966, Syd became the senior surveyor in charge the Airborne Horizontal Control Section and continued to spend much time running Aerodist field operations.


In 1970, Syd was promoted to supervising surveyor in charge of the newly created Control Survey Branch that included Aerodist marking and measuring operations as well as the laser airborne terrain profiler operations and other mapping control survey activities.† From early 1971 Syd became the supervising surveyor in charge of the recently restructured Topographic Survey Branch that included most other Melbourne office activities; namely: photogrammetry and digital photogrammetry, orthophotomapping and digital terrain modelling as well as map completion activities, Antarctic mapping activities, and survey and map records.† In 1976, Syd became an assistant director responsible for the running of all Nat Map's Victorian office operations.


Syd again wintered with an Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition in 1980 as the officer in charge at the Mawson station.


Syd retired from Nat Mapís Dandenong in October 1984 and moved to Queensland.


Professional Societies

Since 1957 Syd has been a Member of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Club.† He has been a Club Committee Member since 1984 and was elected a Life Member in 1999.† Syd was the Club President during 2005-2007 and was the Queensland Branch President from 1990 to 1998.


Syd has been a Member of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland since 1984.


Other Awards and Recognitions

Sydís earlier awards and recognitions include:

       Listed among Australia's 50 greatest explorers by the Australian Museum in 2015.

       Recipient of the Founder's Medal from the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia in 2002.

       Named as one of the ten greatest Australian adventurers of the 20th century by The Australian newspaper in 1999.

       Recipient of the Gold Medal as Adventurer of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society in 1997.

       Awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1966.

       Recipient of the Polar Medal Silver in 1958.


AO Investiture

At Government House Brisbane on 19 September 2018, Syd Kirkby and other award recipients were invested with their award insignias by His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland.


The Governor of Queensland, His Excellency Paul de Jersey AC, invests Syd Kirkby with the Insignia of Officer of the Order of Australia.


His Excellency and award recipients at Government House Brisbane.