Mark H, Station Leader
NICKNAME: Don’t know. The others only use it when I can’t hear.
ROLE ON STATION: Darts and Table Tennis Supremo, Teller of Fascinating Anecdotes, Listener to Endless Complaints, Holder of Cheerful Station Meetings.
OTHER APPOINTMENTS: Station Leader, Deputy Coroner, Special Constable, Treaty Inspector, Incident Controller etc.
Describe yourself in three words. Very, very tolerant.
Who inspires you? My wife, Kimberly, she’s put up with me for over 25 years, now enjoying some long service leave. My Mum for similar reasons.
What is the one thing you enjoy most about your current job? Absolute power. Where else can I postpone Christmas, declare public holidays and change the time zone?
Why Antarctica? Childhood dream finally realised. Adventure, beauty, wildlife, personal and professional challenges. So many reasons.
What did you give up to come to Antarctica? Many things but those that have been hardest were my daughter’s entire pregnancy and the birth of my first grandchild, my son’s 21st birthday and my wife's university graduation.
Do you have a home to go back to? Yes, but my wife has moved. I hope the address she has given me turns out to be real.
Do you think your pets will bite you? We have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. If she bites me, I can probably cope.
Any work lined up on your return to Australia? In theory yes, though being in the Queensland Public Service I’m thinking a Plan B would be prudent.
What occupation did you have before becoming a Station Leader? Research Scientist/Research Manager.
But what job would you really like? Pirate Captain.
Are you continuing study/ tertiary ed. / services duty? Yes, I am studying Training & Assessment and OH&S at present. Intending to complete requirements for coxswain when I get home.
Hobbies at Casey? Darts, photography, table tennis, banjo, fly tying, skiing.
New hobbies for home and the future? No new ones but I am looking forward to getting back into my kayaks. I also intend to do a lot more sailing and much more fishing than I did before coming down.
Buying any large toys on your return home? Shhhhhhh!
Holidays planned? Only so far as I definitely plan to have a holiday.
The Red Shed is burning down and you are only have time to save one thing? The chef. My cooking isn’t that good and it’s still a long time before I go home.
You are stuck on a deserted island with one person? If we have wine, Kim. If we don’t, then someone who doesn’t get grumpy when I forget to bring wine.
Which other Antarctic station would you like to visit? Heard Island or Macca.
What are your tastebuds craving most? Avocado.
One item you wished you brought down? Bud earphones.
Your favourite hut? Wilkes — history, space, proximity, wood stove. It has everything.
Favourite Antarctic wildlife? Winterers — scarce, rarely seen by the outside world, very strange habits.
Most important thing you would take on a jolly? Jolly? Who gets to go on jollies?
Favourite summer highlight? Success of the Sunrise live broadcast.
Antarctic highlight? Encountering a leopard seal.
Winter highlight so far? Soaking in the spa after our midwinter swim.
Name three people you would like to invite to the Midwinter Dinner? John Ralston Saul, Nick Cave, Tim Flannery.
Name one person you most like to winter with? My father. I think he would appreciate every minute he was here and my mother would probably appreciate the peace and quiet.
If your life was a novel, which one would it be this week? 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez — for so many reasons.
And a song? One Step Ahead of the Blues — JJ Cale.
Favourite day of the year? Tomorrow.
Favourite place in the world? The Walls of Jerusalem in the Tasmanian Highlands.
How do you have your jalapenos? With hot English mustard.
What is the first thing you will do when you return to Australia? Meet my granddaughter and hug the rest of my family.