“I've never been south before so for me this is the first time, so there's a lot of excitement and I think some apprehension,” Karen said.
“I'm really looking forward to seeing my first iceberg, the wildlife, the vastness, and I think it will be really interesting to experience the cold weather.”
Karen began her working life as a geologist flying across remote Western Australia.
“Following that I had a roughly 20-year career with the WA state government in a huge range of roles from industrial relations, organisational change, native title, strategy and planning,” she said.
“There’s absolutely some parallels between working as a remote geologist in Western Australia, albeit it’s extremely hot in WA, and there’s flies and mosquitos. It’s about working together to deliver a good outcome, sometimes in really difficult conditions.”
Away from work, Karen is a passionate wildlife rescuer.
”In Western Australia I specifically focus on long-necked turtles – our rescues range from the heartbreaking to the heart-warming and its very rewarding to be able to release a rehabilitated turtle back to the wild.”
“Becoming a station leader brings together so many things for me. An enduring interest in Antarctica. A background in earth science, a passion for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, conservation, and a love of wild places.”
Her camera gear has already been packed to snap the neighbouring seals, penguins and seabirds at Davis.
But there will be a few hobbies that will need to wait until she returns to Australia in a year’s time.
“I'm absolutely going to miss my family and friends, but recently I took up learning to fly. The aviation bug is highly addictive. So my first plan on return to Australia is to book my next flying lesson,” she said.