Inside the mind of the comms guy

5 Minutes with the Comms Guy – Troy Henderson

5 minutes with the 73rd ANARE:

Name: Troy Henderson

Nicknames: Troyboy, Hendo, Handsome

Where are you From: Originally from Newcastle but I've lived all over the last 15 years

Previous seasons? 17–18 at Casey

Job title: Station Communications Technical Officer

Describe your role in two sentences: Keep the internet going, make sure people can talk to their families, keep the radio network up and do some science observations.

What did you do before your joined the AAD? Originally a Navy communications technician but the last few years it’s been a bit of a mix between asset and project management roles with the occasional hands on tech role.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Macca? Assisting with the science programs, whether its magnetic observations for Geoscience Australia, filter change-outs for ARPANSA or assisting with any project the Tas Parks teams have going on. It's nice to feel like you get to contribute to the science programs.

If you were not a Communications Technical Officer, what would be your dream job? I've always thought an Alaskan Bush Pilot would be the dream job. That or a first grade Rugby League coach.

How does this season at Macca compare to your previous seasons down south? Very different. Casey has so much going on with science, aviation and lots of people doing lots of projects compared to the 16 people we have here in our sleepy little town.

Macca is a completely different experience with the insane amount of wildlife. It’s really like being in a David Attenborough documentary then add in the freedom to go for a week-long hike.

They aren’t really comparable, both have been phenomenal.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Here it's all about the animals and the hiking. If I have a spare few days I like trying to run down to Lucie Bay or Hurd Point penguin colonies down island.

What song sums up your Macca experience so far? I would like to say ‘A Wonderful Life’ by Brian Fallon, but based on the amount of times I’ve heard ‘Hard Sun’ by Eddie Vedder this year that's probably the song I'll remember from Macca.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 73st ANARE season here at Macca? The guy that plays Robert Baratheon in the first season of Games of Thrones

What is your favourite spot here at Macca and why? Green Gorge or Hurd Point. Its pretty amazing to sit at a hut with a coffee watching the penguins and seals all over the beach. Those 2 spots are the best for it.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? The gumboots are killer. I’ve worn them almost every day this year

What is your favourite book / movie (or both) and why?

Movie – I love the Before Sunrise series. It sums up everything I love in life. Good conversation with a pretty girl in a beautiful European city.. That’s all you need in life.

Book – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I don’t know, it’s a beautifully written book that I come back to every year or so. Well worth a read.

What is your typical 'Slushy FM' genre? Do you have a particular favourite? It gets a bit random. I’ve listened to Odesza a lot this year with a bit of techno and some punk rock. Taylor Swift gets a bit of run too on occasion.

Describe your Macca experience with: a sight, a smell, a sound, a feeling and a taste.
Sight – A curious penguin walking up to you.

Smell – An elephant seal wallow.

Sound – Hurd Point Royal Penguin colony in full swing.

Feeling – Cold, rainy wind.

Taste – All the Dutch treats Arvid has made this year (stroopwafels, speculaas cookies, that type of thing)

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with?
I'm a huge Anthony Bourdain fan and travel is my favourite thing in the world, so we will have to go with a Bourdain quote:

“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

Another one that I think about a bit is from Scott Wilson, who has made 3 of the best travel shows I’ve ever seen – Departures, Descending and Into the Rising Sun said:

“The last thing you want to do is be travelling the world and, at the end of it, realise you have seen it all through a camera lens.”

That goes through my head every time I sit on the beach here with my camera, and it makes me put it down for 10 or 15 minutes and soak it all in.