Paul Ross — Casey research station leader
I’m actually quite humbled by the experience and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s my first time on the continent and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for dozens of years.
I was attracted to apply because I’m interested in complex leadership situations. I’ve spent the last 31-odd years with Victoria Police. Probably the last 10 years, I’ve mainly been involved in the emergency management and the operation of complex police operations in terms of public order and crime investigation.
Some of the challenges we might be facing will obviously be the isolation, the distance from Australia, how the expeditioners might react to that isolation. That may be a little bit challenging.
The summer period for Casey this year will be quite busy with a fairly tight aviation schedule, so it’ll be a challenge to ensure that occurs within the season and that we can deliver on the programs that the Antarctic Division is committed to.
Kirsten Le Mar — Davis research station leader
I’m almost tragically excited as we’re heading south. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been down south and this is my dream job. It’s like my career’s come full circle and now I can go and take other people down there, take care of them and let them have an extraordinary time.
This has been a bit of a long term project. I’ve always wanted to be station leader. I went down as a scientist 21 years ago to Davis, to work on Weddell seals. Antarctica’s quite addictive, so I have spent quite a lot of time down there; spent about 12 years doing tourism.
Some of the challenges that’ll come up in the winter will be people being isolated and lonely, missing members from home, even just getting on and being compatible with your co-workers, and living and working in your work environment. Probably working in cold environments as well, so just physically managing the environment.
There are many components that attract you to Antarctica. There’s the physical beauty; it’s quite extraordinary, this blue icy landscape where people just don’t belong. The wildlife is extraordinary. The penguins are just magical.