The Malaspina Award is an honour bestowed by the Spanish Embassy in Canberra and the Association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP) to individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to the scientific and/or cultural relationship between Spain and Australia.
From this year, the award will be presented in two categories, an individual category and one for organisations. The name of the award acknowledges the Spanish scientific expedition led by Alejandro Malaspina, which arrived into the area that is today known as Sydney in 1793, this was the first foreign mission to visit the British colony just five years after the arrival of the First Fleet.
The 2023 Malaspina Awards have been conferred to
- Prof Carola Vinuesa (Individual)
- EMPOWER Consortium – University of Canberra (Institution)
Prof Carola Vinuesa is the only Spanish scientist who has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, one of the highest distinctions for scientists in Australia. Among her long list of achievements, in 2005 Professor Vinuesa discovered a genetic variant in mice that leads to an auto-immune disease; and, in 2022, the genetic cause of lupus.
More importantly, in 2018, Prof Vinuesa discovered a genetic mutation linked to SIDS that provided new scientific evidence to the Kathleen Folbigg case in Australia. Ms Folbigg was pardoned in June 2023 by the New South Wales Attorney General after spending 20 years in prison, having been convicted of murder following the deaths of her four children. Her pardon was based on the “reasonable doubt” raised by Prof Vinuesa’s research into the children’s rare congenital abnormalities. Experts have raised the need for an independent body to investigate other possible miscarriages of justice in Australia and the case has attracted major international attention.
EMPOWER Consortium is a collaboration between Spanish and Australian researchers which has received joint funding by the European Union HORIZON programme and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) within the NHMRC-European Union program. This collaboration has facilitated a continuous exchange of researchers between Australia and Spain since 2013, including joint positions, scientific publications, and joint research projects. The EMPOWER (European Platform to Promote Wellbeing and Health in the Workplace) project is a prime example of the role of the EU Horizon programme as a key enabler of international collaboration. The project is led by Dr Beatriz Olaya (St John of God Foundation, Sant Boi, Barcelona – Spain) in Europe, and by Prof Luis Salvador-Carulla (MHPU, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra) in Australia, and has partners form 9 countries (Australia, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and UK). The early engagement between the two has developed into a long-standing research collaboration with a significant number of Universities and Research Centres in Spain (e.g., Fundació Sant Joan de Deu, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Asociación Científica PSICOST).
The 6th Malaspina Awards has been sponsored by Navantia Australia. The award is embodied by the statuette “Heart” designed by the internationally renowned Spanish artist Óscar Martín de Burgos.
The Malaspina Award Ceremony will take place at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra on Friday 17th November 2023 at 6pm. The event will count with the participation of Ms Anna-Maria Arabia (Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science), HE Ms Alicia Moral Revilla (Ambassador of Spain), H.E. Mr Gabrielle Visentin (EU Ambassador to Australia), Dr Ángel R. López Sánchez (SRAP President – Macquarie University), Mr Israel Lozano Barragán (Managing Director of Navantia Australia), and Assoc. Prof Sergio León-Saval (SRAP Honorary President – University of Sydney and Master of Ceremony), among others.
The Malaspina Award Ceremony is an invitation-only event. If you wish to attend, please contact us before COB Wed 15th November.
- Link to the joint Spanish Embassy in Australia – SRAP – Navantia Press Release
- Link to the EMPOWER Consortium Release
The Malaspina award is embodied by the statuette “Heart” designed by the internationally renowned Spanish sculptor Óscar Martín de Burgos. He describes the statuette in the following video (in Spanish, but with English captions available).
The Malaspina Award is an honour bestowed by the Spanish Embassy in Canberra and the Association of Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP). It is awarded to individuals or organisations who have made a significant contribution to the scientific and/or cultural relationships between Spain and Australia. The Alejandro Malaspina Spanish World Scientific Expedition, was the first foreign mission to visit Sydney in 1793, just five years after the arrival of the First Fleet.
The 2022 Malaspina Award has been conferred to RMIT Europe.
Located in Barcelona (Spain), RMIT Europe is an innovative hub focused on sustainable cities and digital technologies. Since 2013, RMIT Europe has been the beacon to Australia-European academic and research cooperation. It has participated in 31 research projects, 27 of which involving Spanish organisations such as Autonomous University of Barcelona, IS Global, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IIIA-CSIC) and University of Barcelona.
RMIT Europe has connected industry partners in Europe with Australia to solve critical problems impacting the community and the environment. In Spain, RMIT has produced an outstanding educational offering and participated in projects with industry partners such as Arup, Inditex and other companies. In 2020 RMIT received the European Commission ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award for its environment of excellence driving the adoption of European best practice in both its Spanish and Australian operations.
The Malaspina Award Ceremony will take place at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra on Friday 18 November 2022 at 5:30pm.
The event will count with the participation of:
- Prof Luis Salvador-Carulla, University of Canberra (Master of Ceremony)
- Ms Anna-Maria Arabia, Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science
- HE Ms Alicia Moral Revilla, Ambassador of Spain
- Dr Ángel R. López Sánchez, SRAP President – Macquarie University
- Mr Nishant Shandilya, Regional Coordinator, EURAXESS – Australia & New Zealand (European Union)
The Award will be collected by Prof Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of RMIT.
The 5th Malaspina Award has been sponsored by Navantia Australia. The award is embodied by the statuette “Heart” designed by the internationally renowned Spanish artist Óscar Martín de Burgos.
The Malaspina Award Ceremony is an invitation-only event. If you wish to attend, please contact us before COB Wed 16th November.
- Link to the joint Spanish Embassy in Australia – SRAP – Navantia Press Release
- Link to the RMIT Press Release
Previous winners of the Malaspina Award
Luke Stegemann is an Australian writer based in South-East Queensland. He has worked in media, publishing and higher education. With a long career as a teacher, translator and journalist, he was formerly the managing editor of The Adelaide Review and the founding editor of The Melbourne Review. He has written for a wide range of Australian publications including Meanjin, The Monthly, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, Overland and the Australian Institute of International Affairs, as well as leading Spanish newspaper El País.
He discovered Spain by surprise in the 1980s. In love with the country, he had no choice but to return to live in it, and since then he combines seasons in Australia and seasons in Spain. Known for his affection for everything Spanish, Stegemann has written two books with a completely or partially Spanish theme: The Beautiful Obscure (Transmission Press, 2017) and Amnesia Road: Landscape, Violence and Memory (New South, March 2021). The Beautiful Obscure is a fascinating voyage of discovery revealing the unexpected and surprising connections between Australia and Spain from a multifaceted prism that summarises history, literature, social life and personal transformation.
All the info about the I Malaspina Award on this webpage.
The 2019 Malaspina Award acknowledged “Universidad Loyola Andalucía” (Seville and Córdoba, Spain), for its extraordinary work pioneering close research ties between Australia and Spain. Loyola University’s partnership with five research centres from the University of Sydney and the Australian National University (ANU).
Professor Carlos García-Alonso Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at Loyola has led an international research team to develop tools which are helping government and public agencies in Spain, Australia, the United Kingdom, Chile and Finland make better decisions about health care. This research strategy has promoted exchange for 10 researchers in Australia and Spain, international collaboration on 24 European and Australian projects, and research produced more than 40 scientific publications. This continuing cooperation has also included the promotion of Australian academics in Spain and vice versa. Dr Ian C. Simpson, formerly at University of Sydney, is the Director of the Department of Psychology at Loyola University Andalusia in Seville. Dr Jose A. Salinas is honorary senior lecturer at the College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University.
The Spain-Australia Council Foundation provided its support to this candidacy and recognised the academic initiative as a reference model for future collaboration between Australian and Spanish research centres and companies.
All the info about the II Malaspina Award on this webpage.
Jennifer was the first invited artist to the SRAP Water Forum in 2015 and she has extensively collaborated in the Art and Science activities of SRAP ever since. An outstanding outcome of this collaboration has been the “Operation Crayweed” project with Adriana Verges, that got the 2016 Sydney Water Environmental Artist Award; and that has involved many other actions conducing to the Festival of Seaweed in 2021. Jennifer’s work has become part of Sydney’s urban landscape. They include, among others, the sculpture “Halo” in Chippendale (2012 Engineering Excellence Awards), “Storm Waters”, in Zetland (2003 Planning NSW Award for design, NAWIC & the Lloyd Rees Civic Award RAIA); “Tied to Tie”, in Pyrmont (2000 Arup award for Art in Built Environment), and the “Light Line Social Square” project (2020 Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design).
Jennifer Turpin’s work demonstrates the value of multidisciplinary collaboration between art, engineering, architecture and science, and has created a new dimension of liveability by the interactive play of urban spaces with the elements of nature (air, wind, water or vegetation).
The award ceremony took place on 27 November in Sydney, on the occasion of the 6th Australia- Spain Research Forum “Big Data” by the Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP). The statuette will be conferred by the Ambassador of Spain to Australia, H.E. Ms. Alicia Moral Revilla.
All the info about the III Malaspina Award on this webpage.
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.
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.
The award ceremony took place on 28th November 2021 in Sydney, on the occasion of the 7th Australia- Spain Research Forum “A Collaborative World” by the Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP). HE Ms Alicia Moral-Revilla (Ambassador of Spain in Australia) and Prof. Luis Salvador Carulla (Deputy director of the Health Research Institute, University of Canberra & Honorary President SRAP) presented the 4th Malaspina Award, that was bestowed upon Homeward Bound. Dr. Katrina Sealey (Australian Astronomical Optics, Macquarie University), who participated in the #TeamHB3 and also in our 6th SRAP Research Forum, collected the prize on behalf of Homeward Bound.
All the info about the IV Malaspina Award on this webpage.