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ASNSW Society Awards and Recipients

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Each year, usually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the ASNSW recognises the special efforts of Society members through the presentation of Society awards. Click on the following links to see awards described in more detail below (with list of recipients).

Life Membership | McNiven Medal | Southern Cross Award | Crago Award | President's Award | Editor's Award | Education Officer's Award | Mike Kerr Award for Excellence in Observational Astronomy

The awards are made at the discretion of the committee and may not be awarded if the committee feels there were no deserving members. Nominations for awards may be made by members at any time.

As the South Pacific Star Party represents the largest gathering of members, the committee has recently been presenting the awards at the Star Party, as well as at the Annual General Meeting.

Life Membership

This award is one of the Society's highest awards and is not handed out without much deliberation to a member who has selflessly given of his/her time and efforts to the society over a number of years. These efforts have helped to enrich the society and benefit the members. This award needs to be ratified by the members.

ASNSW life members are:

  • Ken Beames* (pre-1964)
  • Ted Lumley* (1963)
  • Cyril Brown* (1979)
  • Shirley Rae* (1982)
  • Ken Wallace (1988)
  • Adrian Saw (1995)
  • Max Gardner* AM (1998)
  • Joe Cauchi, Don Whiteman (2000)
  • Les Sara (2002)
  • Harold Berman* (2004)
  • Janet Saw, Eugene O'Connor (2006)
  • Chris Ross (2007)
  • Scott Mellish* (2008)
  • Lesa Moore, Mick McCullagh (2009)
  • John Flavin (2011)
  • Richard Jaworski (2016)

* Indicates member is deceased.

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McNiven Medal

In mid-1973 Mr R. J. McNiven, the then ASNSW Patron, recommended to the Committee that the Society present an annual award to specifically acknowledge a member's contribution to the ASNSW. The Committee subsequently adopted the proposal and decided to name it the McNiven Medal. The award was to be presented: “To the amateur who had contributed significantly to the science of astronomy, or had made significant contributions to the Astronomical Society of New South Wales.”

The first medal was presented in 1973, and until 1986 this award was always presented at the October General Meeting, the traditional month of the Society’s formation. The 1996-1998 medals were presented at the South Pacific Star Party at Ilford. The McNiven Medal is the Society's most prestigious award and there have been a number of years where no-one was deemed to qualify for the award and no medal was presented (1985, 1987-1995, 1999, 2001-2003).

Recipients include:

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Southern Cross Award

This is the second highest award of the Society and is often seen as a runner-up to the McNiven Medal. It was first presented in 1980 as a meritorious award for Society contributions but is now awarded for a more general contribution to astronomy or our Society.

Recent recipients are:

  • Janet Saw, Irene Rose, Karen England (2000)
  • Mike Kerr, Peter Docker (2001)
  • Harry Roberts (2002)
  • Chris Douglass, Richard Heggie (2003)
  • Lesa Moore, Nadia Douglass (2004)
  • Ben Pawlutschenko, Scott Mellish (2006)
  • Dave Gault (2007)
  • John O'Brien, Monte Wilson (2008)
  • Rita Holland, Alex Comino (2009)
  • John Flavin (2010)
  • Karen Whittingham, Ian Ogilvie (2011)
  • Greg Priestley (2013)
  • Carlos Orue (2014)
  • Geoff Smith (2017)
  • Peter Moore (2018)
  • Michelle Elliott (2019)
  • Mark Notary (2020)

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Crago Award

A prominent Society award, this is presented as an encouragement award to either to a student or full member who has shown a special interest by undertaking some activity or an organised program in amateur astronomy.

Recent recipients are:

  • Lachlan MacDonald (1997)
  • Jim Lissikatos (2003)
  • Margaret Streamer (2005)
  • Phil Montgomery (2006)
  • Geoff Unsworth (2008)
  • Darren Jones, Ian Parr (2009)
  • Mike Berthon-Jones, Barry Gerdes (2010)
  • Linda Heffer, Neville Lupton (2011)
  • John Heller (2012)
  • Warren Neal, Greg Priestley (2017)
  • Trevor Oates (2018)
  • Jessica Brunton (2019)

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President’s Award

The most recent of the awards, it was introduced as an award given at the sole discretion of the President for the best contribution to the Society. It was first presented at the Annual General Meeting in 1998.

Recent recipients are:

  • Greg Bryant (1998)
  • Andrew James (1999)
  • Mick McCullagh (2000)
  • Albert Spina (2001)
  • Nadia Douglass (2002)
  • Grey family (2004)
  • Richard Heggie (2005)
  • Chris Douglass (2006)
  • Adrian Saw (2007)
  • Greg Priestley (2008)
  • Linda Heffer (2010)
  • Michelle Elliot (2011)
  • Lesa Moore (2012)
  • Rozainah Kendrew (2013)
  • Joe Cauchi (2014)
  • Lesa Moore (2015)
  • Joe Cauchi (2016)
  • Greg Neilson (2017)

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Editor’s Award

The Editor’s Award is selected and presented by the Editor alone. It was introduced in 1981, and was first used to promote members' articles for Universe. It is based on either the quantity or quality of submissions in the previous twelve months. The award has continued in slightly different forms and, from 1991, it has been presented at the Annual General Meeting.

Recent recipients are:

  • Lesa Moore (2000)
  • Allesandro Spina (2001)
  • Harry Roberts (2002)
  • Ted Lumley (2003)
  • Richard Heggie (2004)
  • Gerard Keyser (2005)
  • Scott Mellish (2006)
  • Fred Vanderhaven (2007)
  • Scott Mellish (2008)
  • Alan Garner (2009)
  • Andrew James (2012)
  • Harry Roberts (2013)
  • Anwesha Sahu (2014)
  • Anwesha Sahu (2015)
  • Geoff Smith (2016)
  • Jacob Grossbard (2017)
  • Kym Haines, Ian Kemp (2020)

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Education Officer’s Award

First presented in the 1950s as the Junior’s Award (given to the outstanding junior member in the Society), it later evolved into the Education Officer’s Award. Recent recipients have contributed to education and public outreach in astronomy through their ASNSW activities.

Recent recipients are:

  • Don Whiteman (1998)
  • Lesa Moore (2008)
  • Monte Wilson (2009)
  • Donna Burton (2012)

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Mike Kerr Award for Excellence in Observational Astronomy

This award was instigated in 2009 in memory of past president, Mike Kerr, who contributed greatly to the success of the ASNSW. Recent recipients are:

  • Harry Roberts (2009)
  • Scott Mellish (2010)
  • Richard Jaworski (2011)

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