This week, we hear from the Chippies of Macquarie Island.

The Chippies of Macquarie Island 2023

Macquarie Island - the oldest station in the Australian Antarctic Program. Built-in 1948, the station is rich with beauty, history, character and asbestos.

Cue the Macquarie Island carpenters.

An eager trio with an eye for renovations, set on freshening up this historic station. However, before the new can go in, the old must come out, and there's no shortage of old. This is the reality of working as a carpenter on Macquarie Island. Although it's not all work, no play, here at Macca. When we're not chipping away in the blue sky mine, you'll likely find us out in the field, enjoying a walk or working on hobbies in the carpenter's workshop. So who are these chippies ’putting food on the table tonight’ you ask?

Meet ‘Pig Dog’ Pete, hailing from the city of the brown snake in sunny South-East Queensland. There's only one thing Pete knows more about than sailing boats, and that's carpentry. If Pete were a Macquarie Island plant species, he'd be the sub-Antarctic bed straw - thought to have died out in the 1980s, this species has made a resurgence in recent years and is closely related to the coffee plant.

There's ‘Lil’ Wayne, originally from the city of Manchester in England. Wayne has been busy seeking refuge in the southern hemisphere in recent years. As keen on carpentry as he is ‘football’, Wayne brings a wealth of cold climate-building knowledge to this island of familiar latitude. If Wayne were a Macquarie Island plant species, he'd be the mouse-ear chickweed - Not due to the fact that it’s an invasive species from Europe, but because of its hardy and resilient characteristics. Go the Tillies.

Then there's Aaron or ‘Az’ from the drum circle capital of Australia in far north coast NSW. This is Aaron's third season in the program. If Az were a Macquarie Island plant species, he’d be the Azorella macquariensis. Not due to the fact that it's an extremely fragile species, as soft as a cushion, though, because it enjoys being on the plateau.

So that's the Macquarie Island carpentry team, working to preserve this beautiful station we call home, because ‘nothing’s as precious’ as an island this far south.