Aaron C. Electrician, SAR team member, ‘Stylist to the Stars', ‘Disney Musical Virtuoso'
Aaron this is your first trip to Antarctica, what brings you here?
Yeah, this is my first trip down. The idea to come Antarctica came to me on a quiet Friday evening, sitting at my home in the small town of Meringandan, QLD back in 2013. I was bored with my current situation. I had a great job, however with my 20s quickly leaving me I just felt like I needed a change in life. So after some online research, I registered my expression of interest and now in 2015 here I am.
What is it like being an electrician here Aaron, and if not an electrician what job would you do?
It’s really great. It offers a lot of interesting challenges that you just don’t experience back home. I must say I've never actually thought of what else I would do. As those who know me would be aware, I spend a lot of time criticising other trades (in good humour) so it would be difficult for me to choose another trade career other than electrical. Perhaps I would join the circus!
(Some might say you already have, Aaron.)
Best gig as an electrician?
Apart from coming to Antarctica, probably the highlight for me was when I was working in some remote Aboriginal communities on islands in the Northern Territory. To be in a place where most people would never have the opportunity to visit is pretty special — the scenery is truly amazing up there.
Best experience in Antarctica?
So far the best experience I have had down here is when two other friends and I went out on a five day hike around the Vestfold Hills (area around Davis station). The hike was quite physically demanding therefore I guess it’s not for everyone, however the combination of spectacular scenery and great company made it all the worthwhile. I really love its untouched beauty. There is something very special about walking on land that presumably no human has ever set foot on before.
Who inspires you?
My Grandfather. He has always been a great source of inspiration throughout my life.
What have you learned living in our little community here at Davis, Aaron?
I think the most important thing to living in a small community is to be considerate of others and to keep a positive outlook.
If you were a car, what car would you be?
Hmm another tough one. I’d definitely be a diesel ute: cheap to run and low on maintenance, except of course if that diesel ute were to slip and fall on the sea ice moments after setting foot in Antarctica.
(Now Aaron, that is all in the past. You can move on.)
What is the ‘must have’ item that you packed for Antarctica?
Large computer monitor/TV for sure.
Your hairdressing business here at Davis has been a roaring success. How did you decide on the name and do you have any plans to expand or create a franchise chain?
The name ‘DUCK COX’ was a simple mash up of the founder’s names, Duck Gillies and Aaron Cox. The business has been doing really well. The secret to our success is that we don’t have any competition, we also offer styles ahead of their time, provide boutique beer, witty jokes and intelligent conversation — for free.
Our favourite clients are the ones who say things like “Just shave it all off ” or “I usually cut my own hair”.
We are currently doing some feasibility studies into expansion in the other Antarctic stations, so who knows what the future may hold.
We at Davis have discovered that you are an avid animated Disney musical fan. Was this a big part of your childhood and is it something that you still enjoy today?
Ever since I sang the missing lyrics to the Lion King’s ‘Can you feel the love tonight’ at a summer trivia night I have been known as somewhat of a Disney musical virtuoso. Now, I may have been known to sneak into the cinema late some nights and watch the opening scene to the Lion King at full volume, however truth is I actually haven’t seen that many Disney musicals at all. My experience is basically limited the Lion King and Aladdin, and as of last week ‘Frozen'.
I must have seen each of these films perhaps 20–30 times during my child/adulthood and I still really enjoy them — they just don’t make Disney films like they used to.
We have also noted that you are quite the up and coming artist. Do you think there is a career change in the future for you?
Perhaps not quite a career change, but it’s a talent that I learned I had since being down here. My previous experience was basically drawing stick figures in cards to my Mum, although with the extra spare time down here I found I could produce some more detailed works. I surprised myself with the first sketch I had ever attempted. It was of the ‘Afghan girl’ from the famous 1980s National Geographic cover, which I entered in the Davis station ‘Arts & Crafts Show'. I have found drawing to be a real labour of love. Time seems to disappear when I draw and I hope to produce some more drawings with the time I have left here.
What is in store when you return home Aaron?
At this stage my plan is to return to my home town of Toowoomba and go to Uni full time to study electrical engineering. So we'll see what happens. I wouldn’t change things or be anyone else even if I had the opportunity. I find it so exciting to think of the future adventures and challenges that my own life has in store for me.
It never ceases to amaze me how we continue to discover hidden talents among our crew here at Davis, and Aaron is a shining example. What is there left to say except “Hakuna matata, Aaron”.