The IV Malaspina Award has been bestowed upon Homeward Bound, an Australian leadership initiative for women in STEMM fields that aims to provide 10,000 women with the skills necessary to take up leadership roles globally, and to contribute proactively to a sustainable world.
The Malaspina Award is an honour bestowed by the Embassy of Spain in Canberra and the Association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP). It is awarded yearly to individuals or organisations that have made a significant contribution to the scientific and/or cultural relations between Spain and Australia.
Since its beginning in 2015, more than 20 Spanish scientists have embarked in the Antartic expeditions organised by Homeward Bound. Some of these Spanish participants include Ana Payo, Alicia Pérez, Uxua López and Alexandra Dubini, winners of the Spanish Red Cross’ Gold Medal, awarded by HM Queen Letizia of Spain. Additionally, Australian data scientist Katrina Sealey mentioned her participation in the Homeward Bound program at the SRAP Forum in 2020.
This award takes its name after Alejandro Malaspina, who led the Spanish World Scientific Expedition 1789-1794, carrying out studies in natural history, cartography, ethnography, astronomy, hydrography and medicine in Latin America and the Pacific. The expedition visited New Zealand, Tonga and Australia. It documented life in Sydney in 1793, just five years after the arrival of the First Fleet.
The IV Malaspina Award has been sponsored by Navantia Australia.
The award is embodied by the statuette “Heart” designed by internationally renowned Spanish artist Óscar Martín de Burgos.