Summer reflections and welcome to the winter

Summer reflections

During the summer Casey is a place of multiple layers and changing dynamics. It goes from an intimate team of 30 to a transit lounge for expeditioners from multiple countries travelling in and out of programs, topping out this year at 119. As Casey’s population evolves during the season the community changes with it. Every group of expeditioners brings a new dimension to its personality.

There are many constants as well — a strong sense of teamwork, mateship and enthusiasm for living and working in Antarctica. The people here made the summer an amazing experience.

We had world-leading scientists on projects like Law Dome ice drilling, the seabird team’s ongoing work with Adélie penguins, and Totten and King projects looking at the relationship of glaciers and sea levels, to name but a few.

The summer also brought the operational team to full strength: from pilots to Bureau of Meterorology forecasters to communications operators to aviation ground support officers to field leaders and an operations coordinator. Added to this is Wilkins Aerodrome that links Antarctica to Australia. Casey supports Wilkins with facilities, maintenance and logistics. Each member of this operations focused group made an invaluable contribution to ensure that we conducted safe and productive operations throughout the summer.

An extensive group of professionals made up Casey’s core to ensure the station was maintained, improvements completed and expeditioners supported. This was a well-blended group, with increased numbers of every trade and profession to support our projects, maintenance and operations. The work we completed was impressive and included the installation of solar panels on the Green store, new HV cable and supporting infrastructure for the wharf facilities, resupply operations and major machinery repairs and maintenance.

As the summer season ended last week and the last of our flights departed, the winter team said “so long” to good friends and colleagues. Thank you to everyone for a wonderful summer. We wish the departing team all the best for their next adventure and we look forward to ours here in this winter wonderland that is Casey — our LEGO land home!

Chris (Station Leader)

Getting to know a Casey Expeditioner — Rhys Francis

Name: Rhys Francis

Nicknames: None that I am aware of!

From: Adelaide originally

Previous seasons? Summers at Davis 2013–14, 14–15, 15–16 and a Winter 16–17

Job title: Carpenter

Describe your role in two sentences: Fix what I can. Help those who can do what I can’t.

What did you do before you joined the AAD? I worked in construction and residential house building, mainly in Sydney.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Casey? Being part of a special team and working with people that are so incredibly skilled.

If you were not a Carpenter what would be your dream job? Anything that gets me near live music all the time!

How does this season at Casey compare to your previous seasons down south? No two seasons are the same. Casey is way different to Davis in almost every respect.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Read and listen to music.

What song sums up your Casey experience so far? Right here, right now by Jesus Jones.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 72nd ANARE season here at Casey? I would prefer Mickey Rourke, but I bet my friends would say Daniel Stern (from City Slickers and Home Alone).

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? My Carhartt jacket.

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why? The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay, and probably The Shawshank Redemption. I guess for the way they express the human spirit.

What is your typical ‘Slushy FM’ genre? Do you have a particular favourite? Rock’n’roll definitely rules, but I like all types (in small doses).

Describe your Casey experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.

Sight — the icebergs that come and go from the bay. Smell — freshly cooked bread! Sound — the background hum of machinery when I am trying to sleep. Feeling — the way I come alive whenever I step outside. Taste — a nice cuppa tea.

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?

From Bill and Ted, and lately from a friend: Be excellent to each other!

Something people may not know about you: I didn’t start my trade until I was 26!