Kirrily Moore of Mount Stewart in Tasmania and Queensland primary school student Clare Cameron have been announced joint winners of the national Float a Name competition.

The Investigator was chosen from 1,458 entries received as the winning name for the Australian Government’s new $120 million deep water research vessel.

Announcing the winners today, Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, congratulated Ms Moore and Miss Cameron on suggesting a name that paid tribute to Australia’s prestigious maritime heritage.

“Australia has one of the largest marine territories in the world, yet much of this terrain remains a mystery to us,” Senator Carr said.

“Matthew Flinders’ circumnavigation of Australia onboard the original Investigator over 200 years ago was a remarkable achievement.

”For this key research vessel of the future we wanted a name that captured the spirit of inquiry from the past – a name that recognises the important contributions of previous generations in setting future directions.

“It is time we followed in Matthew Flinders’ wake and embarked on a meaningful journey of discovery to unlock the secrets of our vast marine territory.

The Investigator will be just the tool our scientists need to make this possible.”

It was this spirit of discovery that inspired both Ms Moore and Miss Cameron.

As joint winners they will be offered the opportunity to design an experiment in conjunction with CSIRO scientists to be undertaken on The Investigator’s maiden voyage.

“An intrepid young scholar in the making, Miss Cameron’s entry came about as a result of her own research for a school project on explorers,” Senator Carr said.

“Miss Cameron consulted Matthew Flinders’ maps and journals and even dressed up as the historic explorer to deliver her presentation to the class.”

Senator Carr also took the opportunity to welcome the appointment of experienced marine engineer Graham Stacey as Project Director for the Marine National Facility Future Research Vessel.

“Building capability in Australian marine research is critical to understanding and responding effectively to climate change,” Senator Carr said.

“The Rudd Labor Government is committed to maintaining Australia’s pre-eminence in the fields of marine and climate science.

“That is why we are supporting this urgent upgrade to our marine research infrastructure as part of our $387.7 million Super Science Marine and Climate initiative.

“With his extensive marine engineering and contracting experience I am confident that Mr Stacey will drive this project towards the expected completion date in 2012.

“I would like to thank Ms Toni Moate for her work acting in this position and look forward to her ongoing contribution to the project through engagement with the marine community regarding the procurement process.”

The CSIRO has been commissioned to manage the project, which will replace the ageing RV Southern Surveyor.

“The new vessel is an exciting development for Australian marine science and I am pleased to have the opportunity to be part of it,” Mr Stacey said.

“The vessel will be capable of operating continuously for 55 days at sea and will support a broad range of sophisticated scientific activities by multi-disciplinary teams.”

A call for proposals for the design, construction and potential provision of through-life maintenance of the vessel closed on Monday 11 January 2010, with evaluation of the responses commencing immediately.

Mr Stacey will commence his appointment on 17 February 2010. A biography is below.

Media contacts:

  • Fiona Scott, Minister’s Office, 0447 086 727
  • Huw Morgan, CSIRO, 0417 834 547
Biography of Graham Stacey

Graham Stacey is a Marine Engineer with recognised marine expertise and extensive project management experience in offshore vessels.

Mr Stacey is the Sole Principal Consultant of Graham Stacey Associates Pty Ltd, a successful project management company specialising in ship construction and conversion. Mr Stacey has extensive experience ranging from contract management, procurement and scheduling; through to construction, client relations and safety.

Recently, Mr Stacey took part in multi-million dollar projects in the major new building shipyards of Korea, Japan and Singapore, and has previously held positions with Teekay Shipping (Australia) and BHP Transport Limited.

Mr Stacey has qualifications as a Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Auditor (certified by Lloyd’s Register and Det Norske Veritas) and is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (London).