Field training conducted on the plateua and ch…ch…changes as Mawson welcomes the incoming winter crew.

Field training on the plateau

This week team 2016 was busy doing survival and field training so that we could take over emergency response team roles for the rest of the year.

Tony our 2016 field training officer has been busily taking groups up to the plateau to do all sorts of activities like setting up a quad bivvy in 25+ knot winds, climbing ice walls, abseiling and sleeping outside in a bivvy bag. Survival and field training is part of the compulsory training that most of the team doesn’t mind getting involved in. We are all keen to get out and about, learning some new skills and extending our comfort levels in an environment that not many of us are familiar with. 

While all the exciting activities like climbing and abseiling sound tough to learn, it is actually the little things that are the hardest to master. Things like putting micro spikes on your boots while wearing four layers and thick gloves or how to quickly put on multiple layers of jackets, neck warmers and boots in the right order so it doesn’t take five minutes to leave a building.

Station handover and dinner

The 62nd anniversary of the raising of the Australian flag at the site of what is now Mawson station saw the official handover from the 68th ANARE to the 69th ANARE. We celebrated with a lovely five course meal, followed by the finale performance by famous Mawson band ‘Black Ice'.

The 69th ANARE was in charge of decorations and we were determined to show our respect to our colleagues. Many hours were spent creating a photo slide show that played during the meal, a photo booth with lots of dress-ups and props and the finest white linen was found for the tables.

Midwinter medals were on display and outgoing Station Leader John shared the individual stories and personality traits of the people who built the community of 2015 as he handed them out. 

The chefs had worked hard to prepare a meal that showed off their skills and dedication to increasing our waistlines. Dinner encompassed five dishes, included a vegan alternative for each course. There was smoked salmon, venison and black pudding, scallop pies, roast duck, stuffed quails, and rich dark chocolate tarts. Three hours after we sat down we were rolling up the stairs to listen to the band. 

'Black Ice’ had been practising hard for the last four weeks with two of the members playing the bass and drums for the first time, showing some impressive previously undiscovered musical talent. A mixture of genres were played — something for everyone — and the party continued long into the night.

Thank you ANARE 68, you have set a high standard and we will strive to better you over the coming year.