AFTER more than 20 years at CSIRO, research manager and marine infrastructure professional Toni Moate was awarded the public service medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Ms Moate said it was her work in delivering the Marine National Facility’s new research vessel ‘Investigator’ that won her the award.
“The award was a culmination of my time at the CSIRO, but I think it was the Investigator project that got me over the edge,” she said.
“It was such an enormous undertaking – the whole project took six years to complete and I was on call 24/7 during that time.
“It’s good to see that people are recognising what a commitment it was to get the Investigator up and running.”
The Investigator is a $120 million research vessel that replaced the RV Southern Surveyor in September 2014.
Ms Moate played an essential role in leading the design, build and commission of the new vessel, ensuring it was delivered on scope and on budget.
The ship offers a range of new and improved features, including increased capacity for scientists and voyage duration, the ability to map the ocean floor at any depth and equipment to collect weather data 20km into the atmosphere.
Ms Moate said the Investigator was a “real game changer” and that its delivery to Hobart was the highlight of her career.
“I had been to Singapore and seen the ship so often as it was being constructed, but it was truly amazing to see it in my own backyard,” she said.
“I’m also very proud of the fact that the Investigator doesn’t just belong to the CSIRO, but rather we own and operate it on behalf of the nation.
“There were so many people across Australia who were involved in the project – ensuring that is it suitable for a range of different scientific areas – and now we can all look at it with a shared sense of ownership.”
Ms Moate said it was an “incredible honour” to receive the public service medal and that she was “truly amazed and humbled.”
“People who receive these awards have made such strong contributions to society and to stand alongside them is very humbling,” she said.
“Receiving this award is almost like a ‘full-stop’ to the whole Investigator experience.”
Ms Moate will receive her public service medal at an official ceremony held in September.
For more information about the Queen’s Birthday Honours, visit www.gg.gov.au/queens-birthday-2015-honours-list