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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders

1 July 2005

Australian meteorologist wins top international prize

One of Australia's most eminent meteorologists has won a top international prize in meteorology. Dr John Zillman, former Director of the Bureau of Meteorology, has been awarded the 50 th International Meteorological Organization (IMO) Prize by the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, for his outstanding individual contribution to the field of meteorology.

Dr Zillman is only the third Australian to receive the prize, which was first awarded in 1956, and follows in the footsteps of pre-eminent meteorologists such as Professor Edward Lorenz, one of the founders of ‘Chaos' theory.

Mr Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, today congratulated Dr Zillman for winning the 50 th IMO Prize and for his outstanding contribution to international meteorology over many years.

"Dr Zillman is a deserving winner of this very prestigious prize," Mr Hunt said. "As both scientist and administrator, Dr Zillman has provided outstanding international leadership on a wide range of meteorological and climatological issues of enormous global significance.

"As President of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization for 8 years, Dr Zillman was instrumental in advancing the influence of meteorology and its related sciences in the world of international science and public policy. The fact that there is such a high level of international cooperation in the field of meteorology is due in no small part to the tireless work Dr Zillman performed. I am very pleased to see him receive the IMO Prize in recognition of this outstanding contribution, and on behalf of the Australian Government, I congratulate him."

Dr John Zillman joined the Bureau of Meteorology as a cadet meteorologist in Brisbane in 1957. In 1978 he was appointed Director of Meteorology, a position he held until 2003. He was a member of the WMO Executive Council from 1979 to 2004, First Vice President from 1987 to 1995, and President from 1995 to 2003.

Background information

The IMO Prize is awarded annually by the World Meteorological Organization to individuals for outstanding work in the field of meteorology. The prize consists of:

Further information about the IMO Prize can be found at:

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045

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