Careers in Transit
Can you WANDER the world while WORKING in a TRADITIONAL industry? These professionals PROVE it can be done – and have AMBITIOUS plans!
“I’M A PROBLEM SOLVER” MIXING MEDICINE WITH EXPLORATION, DR ANDREW PEACOCK CHASES ADVENTURE – WITH HIS CAMERA.
It all started when I was volunteering as a doctor in India and Nepal in 1996. I took 50 rolls of film with me on that trip and, when I came home, I sent them to Lonely Planet who were planning a trekking guide to Nepal. Most of my images were not decent but, amazingly, I had just enough for them to take me on as one of their [freelance] photographers. It was a carrot to keep shooting.
I’ve always loved cameras, but the pursuit was a slow-burner because medical school and then work as a doctor distracted me for many years. I wanted to see if there was a way to find time for both career paths.
Today, in addition to working in a busy emergency room in Brisbane, I spend around six months of the year as an expedition doctor. I’ve been to both Nepal and Antarctica seven times each since then, and also travelled through central Asia.
The most standout trip for me has to be the one to Pakistan a few years ago. I accompanied a photographer called Corey Rich. He’s a friend of mine and he approached me to travel as a backup photographer, a doctor and a kind of Jack of all trades, to help him with a documentary he shot about climbers.
My photo that has garnered the most attention, which is probably one of my favourites, is from a time when I was working on a private ship in Antarctica. I was leading a group of sea kayakers and a 20-foot [six-metre] minke whale swam underneath my kayak. Super inquisitive!
You can’t really call my day job – working in an emergency room back in Australia – creative. Although, there is some carry-over from solving patients’ problems and solving how to get great photography shots.
The idea that I may shoot something and not do it very well is kind of okay, because I still work as a doctor. That’s far more important than if I nail the photos in a shoot. There are things to take very seriously, and there are things to have a go at. It’s about understanding what’s important, really.” >