Antarctic Station Leaders 2006–07


Gary Dowes is an epidemiologist and public health physician whose early career focused on emerging ‘western’ diseases, including asthma, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, in developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region. During this period he coordinated field-based epidemiological studies in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Nauru, Fiji and Mauritius, and advised governments of these and other countries on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

Gary has worked in the Western Australia Department of Health since 1995, initially with responsibility for public heath programmes in the Midwest region, and more recently within its Communicable Disease Control Directorate, where he has coordinated surveillance, investigation and response to outbreaks of infectious disease, and managed broader communicable disease prevention and control programmes across the state. Gary’s outside interests include bushwalking, running, bike riding and collecting antiquarian books, maps and prints. This will be his first season in Antarctica.


Graham Cook returns to Antarctica after spending 2005 as the Mawson Station Leader. Prior to that he spent 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 Gold Fields of Western Australia. Graham has travelled extensively throughout South East Asia. He is a keen mountaineer, skier and bushwalker.


For the past 27 years Denis Rich has been employed with the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) where, as a Commander, he gained broad experience in emergency response, training and management. In recognition of his role in leading the development and implementation of the MFB’s Emergency Medical Services First Responder programme — a first for fire services within Australia — Denis was awarded the Australia Fire Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2000.

In a parallel career, Denis has also achieved sporting success (or at least notoriety) as a VFL/AFL umpire, with over 250 games and three Grand Finals. Now a keen golfer, he enjoys travelling, outdoor activities, swimming, reading and morning walks. He lives by the sea in picturesque Williamstown and is married with two adult children and a dog — named Casey!