This season’s Station Leader for Mawson research station is Rebecca Jeffcoat.

Ms Jeffcoat returns to Antarctica after previously leading the wintering team at Casey research station in 2017.

The chance to see Australia’s most remote station on the icy continent has long been a goal.

“Mawson's always been on my bucket list. It's the station that has that historical context, a beautiful environment, the mountain ranges behind the station and the ice plateau,” Ms Jeffcoat said.

“And then there’s that big bucket list item of visiting the emperor penguin colonies and getting to do scientific monitoring, which will be amazing.”

Ms Jeffcoat has served with the Royal Australian Navy for 30 years, facing recent challenges such as assisting with the 2019-2020 bushfire response, COVID-19 and evacuation operations in Afghanistan.

Her time at Casey was a life-changing experience and she has longed to visit Antarctica again.

“I just had such an extraordinary year at Casey. I fell in love with the place. I've been a little bit homesick in the three years since I was there,” she said.

“I love the wildlife and the weather. Living through blizzards is incredible, and I just love the community and experiencing that with a like-minded group of expeditioners.”

She will spend a year at the station, with a wintering team of 15 expeditioners working across trades, communications, operations and other roles.

Their first challenge will be seeing a successful resupply of the station when the new team arrives in March on icebreaker Aiviq and ice-strengthened cargo vessel Happy Dragon.

Ms Jeffcoat believes building a strong and cooperative community to be among the key skills of a Station Leader.

She returns to Antarctica with confidence of having done the job before but has flagged a few small changes.

“I'll be much more efficient and I will potentially sing a little bit less karaoke,” she said.