Heritage carpenter ready to start work
Heritage carpenter ready to start work, Mawson 2009 (Photo: AAD)
Working on exterior wall panel Unpacking scores of bearingswooden surfboardChippies working outside at CaseyStation leader gets his hands dirtyHappy carpenter carrying a loadCarpentry for the summer accommodation moduleOff to work on Macquarie Island!Chippies workshop on Macquarie IslandMaking new paper towel dispensersCarpenter standing by his structureCarpenters working on boardwalk

As the carpenter, known as the station ‘chippy’, you will carry out a range of tasks involved in maintaining station buildings and field huts. You will carry out carpentry, painting, plastering, tiling, floor covering, glazing, concreting, rigging and shot firing. Your responsibilities will also include the safe operation of the carpenter’s workshop.

What will you actually do on the job?

  • Perform building and services construction work
  • Operate and maintain the station buildings and building services
  • Maintain in-built fire protection systems such as fire rated walls and ceilings
  • Maintain the structural integrity of buildings and services
  • Maintain paint systems, floor coverings, glazed units, joinery and furniture
  • Maintain a wide range of woodworking machinery and power tools
  • Prepare and submit monthly and annual reports
  • Assist with science programs when necessary

As well as these specific job roles you will also be required to perform station duties rostered by the station leader to support community life, such as general kitchen duties, garbage clearance, water duties, and assisting other expedition members with official programs. You may volunteer for other duties such as firefighting, hydroponics and boating.

The following extract from Casey Station News in September 2004 provides a typical overview of the carpentry work on station during late winter.

The chippies have been tirelessly working away mixing up their work inside various buildings and also outside in the testing late autumn climate. The field store construction has been challenging to say the least.

With limited daylight, portable lighting has now been utilised. While the weather is fine, as fine as it can be at −25, work continues, and it is progressing well. Unfortunately here at Casey, ‘When it snows it blows’ and when it blows, the field store fills up with snow and ice which can take up to two days to dig out by hand and machine.

Rob has been spending many hours moving snow away from the field store so work can proceed. Also whenever he gets a spare minute he clears the front of the station, around essential services and the access roads to the other buildings so they are all accessible. Mick has finished new battery boxes for the EPH (emergency power house) and also a very stylish new portable SAR (search and rescue) board for operational requirements.

Ron’s joinery skills have come to the fore with a new computer bench in an area used as our post office and also the library and skilful etching of the Midwinter's menu covers.

Kenny has been building, plastering and painting a new wall in the Wallow nook, and assembling a cabinet and bookshelf to make use of the newly found space.

Dan has utilised his skills in the joiners’ shop constructing various shelves and new speaker stands for the bar and recreation area. All in all, a busy time for the devoted crew who are now quite apt at shovelling snow and clearing blizz accumulations. 

Interested in working in Antarctica?

Jobs in Antarctica are advertised during a recruitment period towards the end of each year. Some positions are not available every year. For more information, see Jobs in Antarctica.