Having always wanted to visit Antarctica, Gemma Woldendorp managed to start work at Mawson research station in March.
Key points:The Australian Antarctic Program is looking for 200 workers to fill 24 roles across its Antarctic research stationsMawson, Davis and Casey stations, as well as the station on Macquarie Island, need workersRoles include plumbers, electricians, chefs and engineering supervisors She’ll soon have spent a year on the frozen continent and says the sense of awe is yet to wear off.
“I was truly humbled and amazed the first time some curious emperor penguins came up so close to me. You don’t realise how big they are until they are standing a metre away from you,” she said.
The former climbing and outdoor guide works as a field training officer, responsible for search and rescue and training others to travel and work in the harsh environment.
“There are duties such as proving sea ice routes, assessing hazards in the field, updating routes on the plateau, maintaining field equipment for expeditioner use and in the field huts,” Ms Woldendorp said.
The Australian Antarctic Program is looking for 200 others like her to fill 24 roles across its Antarctic research stations at Mawson, Davis and Casey as well as on Macquarie Island.
The stations need plumbers, electricians, chefs and engineering supervisors among a range of other jobs.
“These roles keep the lights on, the water running and people warm in an unforgiving environment. Each job carries a huge responsibility but where else can you visit a penguin colony on your day off?” Australian Antarctic Division psychologist Maree Riley said.
Ms Riley said the AAD is looking for people who are versatile, proactive, community-minded and flexible and is particularly encouraging women to apply.
“If you are a female tradie or supervisor with a taste for travel or change, we want to hear from you,” she said.
Contracts usually run for between four and 15 months and expeditioners are paid an allowance to compensate for living in a remote and isolated environment.
The call for new recruits comes as Australia’s new Antarctic vessel, RSV Nuyina, prepares to depart for a maiden voyage to Antarctica on Monday.