Antarctica calls

31 January 2003

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) is offering the work experience of a lifetime. It has a wide range of positions based in the Antarctic and subantarctic in 2004.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Australian Antarctic program Dr Sharman Stone said that the AAD was looking for suitably qualified women and men to undertake and support science programs and to maintain Australia's stations at Casey, Davis and Mawson and on Macquarie Island.

All positions will be advertised this weekend.

Dr Stone also said she was keen to see more women in Antarctica, with the Federal Government committed to gender equity in the Australian Antarctic program.

"While women have been wintering in Antarctica since 1981, their representation is still substantially below that of men at Australian stations," said Dr Stone.

"Many expeditioners to the Antarctic have returned several times and we are keen to see access to our program by a broader group of people, particularly older Australians and those from rural areas.

Dr Stone said that regardless of age, gender or location, as long as people were physically fit and able to fulfil the requirements of the positions their applications would be considered.

"If any tradespeople, scientists or others believe they have the skills and personal attributes the Australian Antarctic Division requires of its expeditioners I would encourage them to apply for the vacancies to be advertised in the weekend press," Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone added that while suitable qualifications and experience were essential, so too was people's ability to live and work harmoniously in close proximity and where conditions were often inhospitable.

"Not everyone is suited to the extremes of the Antarctic environment or to living for long periods in confined quarters, so the assessment of applicants' personal qualities is necessarily rigorous to ensure, as far as is possible, that expeditioners will be able to cope.

"At the same time, Antarctica offers very rich rewards not available anywhere else and that most people will never have the opportunity to experience," Dr Stone said.

Background

The AAD is inviting applications for the following positions at its four southern stations:

  • Medical practitioners
  • Station leaders
  • LIDAR and Optics Physicists
  • Electronics engineers
  • Chefs
  • Field Training Officers
  • Communications Technical Officers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians and Instrumentation Electricians
  • Mechanical services plumbers
  • Mechanics
  • Plant operators.

Comprehensive employment packages include salary, accommodation and training in Hobart prior to departure, reunion travel, provision of specialised equipment and clothing, and healthcare.

Vacancies are available during both summer and winter seasons next year.

Applications for most positions close on 21 February, 2003