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!

Collective Hub - - WANDER - WORDS AMY NELMES BIS­SETT

“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.” >

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