Fix­ing fridges on the cold­est place on Earth

The Advertiser - - NEWS - CLARE PEDDIE SCI­ENCE RE­PORTER SATUR­DAY DE­CEM­BER 8 2018

FANCY finding work as a re­frig­er­a­tion tech­ni­cian on the cold­est and dri­est con­ti­nent on Earth.

David Hamilton, 54 of An­gle Vale is liv­ing the dream, en­joy­ing ev­ery minute of his first sea­son at Casey Sta­tion in Antarc­tica.

“I've worked in the main­stream parts of my in­dus­try, in com­mer­cial mul­ti­storey build­ings and hospi­tals, so I was just re­ally in­ter­ested to see what hap­pens here,” he said.

“I'm fas­ci­nated by the en­gi­neer­ing you need in such a unique and ro­bust en­vi­ron­ment.” Sun­days are fun days for ex­plor­ing and sight­see­ing.

“At the mo­ment there's a bit of sea ice around and you can walk across the sea ice and go and see the pen­guins and seals,” Mr Hamilton said.

“Last Sun­day the wa­ter was that clear you could see them swim­ming around un­der­wa­ter.”

Get­ting to know his work mates is also part of the fun, with peo­ple of all ages, from all over Aus­tralia, do­ing all sorts of jobs with “a can-do at­ti­tude”. Many of these jobs ex­ist to sup­port the re­search ef­fort.

“The sci­en­tists are re­ally af- fa­ble peo­ple, they're very pas­sion­ate about what they do,” Mr Hamilton said.

“If you sit down and chat to them, they'll talk all night to you about it. It's ob­vi­ously their pas­sion. A lot of it is cli­mate sci­ence … be­ing a small part of that is quite sat­is­fy­ing.”

Aus­tralian Antarc­tic Divi­sion hu­man re­sources man­ager An­drew Groom said it was an ex­pe­ri­ence money could not buy.

“Work­ing as part of the Aus­tralian Antarc­tic Pro­gram is more than just vis­it­ing the icy con­ti­nent, it al­lows you to im­merse your­self in the ex­tra­or­di­nary en­vi­ron­ment for an ex­tended pe­riod,” he said. “Ex­pe­di­tion­ers get to ride in a Hag­glu­nds tracked snow ve­hi­cle across the Antarc­tic ice cap, see pen­guins, and maybe even sleep out un­der the weav­ing lights of the aurora aus­tralis com­plete with ice­berg vis­tas.” Aus­tralia man­ages four re­search sta­tions: Casey, Davis and Maw­son on the Antarc­tic con­ti­nent and Mac­quarie Is­land in the sub-Antarc­tic.

More than 150 peo­ple are wanted to keep the sta­tions run­ning through­out next sea­son, in­clud­ing sta­tion sup­port, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, in­fra­struc­ture, avi­a­tion, sci­ence, me­chan­i­cal and med­i­cal. The em­ploy­ment pe­riod ranges from four months over sum­mer, up to 15 months over win­ter, with sum­mer the busiest. Ap­pli­cants with the re­quired skills for the job, also have to go through a se­lec­tion cen­tre and ex­ten­sive pre-de­par­ture train­ing.

Ex­pe­di­tion­ers are paid an ad­di­tional Antarc­tic al­lowance on top of their wage, and all ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and cold weather cloth­ing is pro­vided. FOR MORE IN­FOR­MA­TION VISIT JOBS.ANTARC­TICA.GOV.AU AP­PLI­CA­TIONS CLOSE JAN­UARY 24. SEE THE VIDEO AT AD­VER­TISER.COM.AU

AMAZ­ING ROLE: David Hamilton, of An­gle Vale, in­set, is work­ing as a re­frig­er­a­tion tech­ni­cian dur­ing his first sea­son at Casey Sta­tion, Antarc­tica.

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