Antarctic Station Leaders for 2004-05

Antarctic continent station leaders for 2004–05 through to 2006 have been chosen from an Australia-wide field of 65 applicants. A station leader for Macquarie Island has been selected and will begin work in 2005. The new Antarctic leaders are:

Jeremy Smith – Casey

Jeremy came to Antarctic service after 26 years in academia as a lecturer, and later, associate professor at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, where he specialised in biogeography and taught environmental studies. He has undertaken field research in Papua New Guinea, Sabah and Venezuela, as well as in eastern Australia, from Tasmania to Torres Strait. He is the author of some 100 scientific publications in biogeography, particularly the ecology and origins of equatorial high mountain floras, dispersal of seeds by marine currents and the invasion of Australian habitats by exotic shrub species.

The 2004–05 season at Casey Station will mark Jeremy’s fourth year as a station leader in Antarctica. He has previously occupied the position at Macquarie Island in 1996 and at Davis in 2001 and 2003.

Rachael Robertson – Davis

Rachael recently arrived at the AAD after 14 years in the field of environmental management, working as a park ranger across metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria. Her most recent posting as chief ranger for the West Coast District of Parks Victoria involved leading a team of 54 staff in the management of national parks, reserves and marine protected areas from Torquay to the South Australian border, and including the world famous Twelve Apostles.

Rachael has experience across a wide range of areas including staff management; supervising the delivery of research programs; managing OH&S – including the implementation of maintenance programs; protected area legislation; and policy development and compliance. She is an accredited fire fighter, mad Geelong supporter and Shackleton enthusiast. Her posting to Davis station will be her first experience in Antarctica.

Graham Cook – Mawson

Graham has spent the past three years in a dual role as operations manager with Federal Hotels’ Strahan Village Resort and manager of Gordon River Cruises on Tasmania’s west coast. Between 1991 and 2001 he was responsible for the operation of a number of remote Aboriginal community stores and Aboriginal enterprise developments in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, the Kimberley in Western Australia, the Tanami and Great Sandy Desert areas, and the northern goldfields of Western Australia.

Graham has travelled extensively throughout South-East Asia. Although ten years in the tropics allowed little opportunity for practice, he is a keen mountaineer, skier and bushwalker. This will be his first trip to Antarctica.