Live the dream become an Antarctic station leader

The buildings of Casey station are coloured in reds, yellows and greens and surrounded by ice.
Casey station (Photo: Briony Macpherson)
Station leader conducts station meeting at Macquarie IslandStation leader presents polar medal

The Australian Antarctic Division is currently recruiting station leaders for 2014 onwards for its stations at Casey, Davis and Mawson on the Antarctic continent and its Macquarie Island station.

This may well be the opportunity you’ve been looking for, a chance to do something totally live and work in a unique and stunning environment that most people can only dream about, and where the wildlife will amaze you.

The station leader’s job is rather like managing a small town in a remote area.   The work ranges from supporting science and maintenance projects, to general station community welfare and safety management, liaising with media and schools, and a whole lot more.

During summer our stations are bustling with the many expeditioners who go south for research and support projects.  And while numbers dwindle during winter, there’s still so much to experience.

There may also be the potential for successful candidates to travel south prior to taking up your appointment to give you a taste of what’s in store.

Appointments can range from six to 15 months with some flexibility possible.

Previous station leaders have come from a diverse range of backgrounds including not-for-profit bodies, research, the military, police, working with indigenous communities. 

In fact, your experience can be from almost walk of life so long as you can demonstrate credentials in leadership and logistics.

Read more about the role of station leader.

For more information about applying:
Applications close on 31 May 2012.


Live the dream! Be an Antarctic station leader.

Video transcript

Graham Cook, Station Leader at Mawson 2014

Hi, I am Graham Cook. I am the station leader at Mawson Station in Antarctica. I work with the Australian Antarctic Division in what I think is one of the best jobs in the world.

Why do I do it? Because there are so many reasons why I do it!

So many people talk about living the dream. Well with this job I get to do what other people are dreaming about. Every day here is so different. Some days I will be helping the chef in the kitchen, another day I will be working with the plumber outside in minus 20 degrees. I get to spend time with scientists working on programs that I would never be introduced to and learning a lot from that.

Where else in the world would you get to work with such a diverse group of people and such diverse programs? We have flying programs, science programs, building programs, there is just so much that happens down here, that keeps my mind going, and I learn so much from the people that I work with. It is such a pleasure to go to work every day.

In a week or two’s time we will get to watch ten thousand new visitors arrive in the form of emperor penguins as they march across the ice to set up camp and breed for the winter.

When was the last time you looked out your office window, saw a snow-clad mountain range in the distance, a glacier creeping towards the coast, an iceberg on your doorstep?

I just love working here. It’s an amazing place. Friends and family tell me I am so lucky to be here and they are right, I am. But I helped to make this luck. I put an application in for this job. And I managed to get it. You can do it too.

Narelle Campbell, Station Leader at Casey 2014

Hi, I am Narelle Campbell and I am the station leader here at Casey station and it is actually a privilege to be able to come down here and work for the Australian Antarctic Division, supporting the various science and work programs down here.

The best part, as I said, of being down here is being with the team, and the various personalities. They’re people that you don’t know, that you have just first met back in Kingston doing the training. We all come together as a team and learn to live together and share each others’ experiences down here.

Mike Gasson, Macquarie Island Station Leader 2014

Hi, my name is Mark Gasson. I am the station leader at Macquarie Island in the subantarctic. I work for the Australian Antarctic Division. Why do I want to be a station leader? It’s the most amazing job. It’s incredible. You get to be down in this beautiful location - it’s phenomenal - working with the most incredible team of people. You’ve got all kinds of different people here and I like working with people, I get quite a lot of enjoyment. It has been pretty awesome so far, I am loving it. It is a crazy adventure, unlike anything I have ever done before. We are isolated, we are miles away from anywhere, who knows what’s going to happen next? The whole thing is pretty much a mystery and the craziest thing is we’re getting paid to do it. So, it’s pretty awesome, I’m loving it.

[end transcript]