A job that’s su­per cool

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JU­LIA BRADLEY

A TOWNSVILLE man has swapped North Queens­land heat for the freez­ing Antarc­tic and there is a new op­por­tu­nity for oth­ers to join him.

From to­day, the Aus­tralian Antarc­tic di­vi­sion is look­ing to re­cruit around 150 men and women to join their 2019- 20 sea­son.

Townsville’s Nathaniel Payne has been based in the icy con­ti­nent since Fe­bru­ary and plans to stay un­til March.

“I ap­plied to go south for a change of scene and a new chal­lenge,” Mr Payne told the Bul­letin.

The me­chan­i­cal su­per­vi­sor is a long way from home but since join­ing the pro­gram he has never looked back.

De­spite the chal­lenges of iso­la­tion and sep­a­ra­tion, the de­part­ment be­lieves it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence money can’t 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,” Aus­tralian Antarc­tic Di­vi­sion Hu­man Re­sources Man­ager An­drew Groom said.

“Not many peo­ple get to go to Antarc­tica and even fewer get to work there. So see­ing the sights, see­ing the an­i­mals … it’s just an amaz­ing place to go and visit.

“It’s a fa­mil­iar­ity and in­ti­macy with Antarc­tica that few peo­ple get to ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Aus­tralia man­ages four re­search sta­tions – Casey, Davis and Maw­son on the Antarc­tic con­ti­nent and Mac­quarie Is­land in the sub- Antarc­tic.

“The sta­tions are pretty modern, pretty com­fort­able … They’ve got recre­ational ar­eas, sin­gle dorms gen­er­ally, large com­mer­cial kitchens but also a lot of ar­eas such as me­chan­i­cal work­shops and car­pen­try work­shops and power houses,” Mr Groom said.

The di­vi­sion is call­ing on peo­ple to join the “Antarc­tica fam­ily” for four months over sum­mer or up to 15 months over win­ter.

The sum­mer pe­riod, from Oc­to­ber to March, is the busy work time with up to 100 peo­ple on sta­tion, but in win­ter this can drop to about 20.

From me­chan­i­cal to med­i­cal, men and women with the nec­es­sary skills are en­cour­aged to ap­ply.

“For a plumber, elec­tri­cian or diesel me­chanic, where bet­ter to work than Antarc­tica?” Mr Groom said.

Suc­cess­ful can­di­dates will un­der­take ex­ten­sive pre- de­par­ture train­ing in Ho­bart.

Ex­pe­di­tion­ers are paid an ad­di­tional Antarc­tic al­lowance on top of their wage, and all ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and cloth­ing is pro­vided. Ap­pli­ca­tions close on Jan­uary 24.

OP­POR­TU­NITY: Nathaniel Payne at the Aus­tralian base in Antarc­tica. Pic­ture: NATE PAYNE/ AAD

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