People, planes, penguins, and did you say dinosaurs?!

Meet an expo: Leon Hamilton, Met Tech

Name: Leon

Nickname for this season: Sierra

From: Sydney

Previous seasons? Macca 2011, Casey 2013, Mawson 2017, Mawson 2019.

Job title: Met Tech (Bureau of Meteorology Technician)

Describe your role in two sentences: I keep all the weather and space weather instruments going “ping”. Then there’s every other aspect of station life.

What did you do before you joined the BOM? My memory doesn’t go back that far.

What is your favourite part of your job here at Mawson? The wildlife, the auroras and the mountains.

If you were not a Met Tech what would be your dream job? Getting the opportunity to be an astronaut would be incredible, or maybe owner of a MotoGP team.

How does this season at Mawson compare to your previous seasons down south? Every season is different, with different people, different weather patterns, different station activities. We’re all still very sad that the homebrew was taken away.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Photography, reading, hiking, occasional poor attempts at art, staring out the window and station dance parties.

What song sums up your Mawson experience so far? Tough one, I’m going to go with a band instead. This year has been all about Måneskine, an Italian band who won 2021 Eurovision and have brought a bit of glam rock back to the world.

What actor would play you in a film version of our 75th ANARE season here at Mawson? Most of them have too much hair on top of their head, maybe Mark Ruffalo? Hmm, Tom Cruise’s character out of Tropic Thunder could also work.

What is your favourite hut for field trips and why? Rumdoodle is the most comfortable and has an amazing view. Also it holds a special place as it was wrecked by huge winds in May 2017, then we repaired the hut in August 2019.

Favourite piece of Australian Antarctic Division kit? The down jacket has helped keep me warm in the middle of winter as I wandered around station taking photos of the night sky.

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

Favourite book is The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as it has brilliant humour and satire that still holds true today.

Favourite movie is The Princess Bride, no explanation needed.

What is your typical 'Slushy FM' genre? Do you have a particular favourite? I like to ask the chef to choose a letter for the day, then I put on songs beginning with that letter. There’s something incredibly entertaining trying to keep up with the mishmash of genres from classical to funk, with a little rap and Gregorian chanting thrown in for good measure.

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

Sight – The mountains from sea ice.

Smell – The penguin colonies.

Sound – The gentle hum of the powerhouse and the roar of the wind.

Feeling – Joy when rugging up and lying down to look up at the stars and watch aurora dance overhead.

Taste – Anything that Donna has cooked this year has been fantastic. A few standouts have been the whole Midwinter feast and all the desserts.

Do you have a favourite quote that you’d like to leave us with? Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.

Is that a plane?

Flights this week signal the end of our winter. On Monday four of our little team departed to make their way on the long route home. Flying out on the Ken Borek Air (KBA) Twin Otter from the Mawson across to Davis, where one will return via ship, the other three have made their way (as I write) across to Casey to make the final hop home to Hobart. Sometime this week...

And in return, four new expeditioners have joined the team. We're all set now for a busy summer. Just 10 weeks to go until the ship arrives to take us home. Time will slip away so quickly, so much to get done between then and now. Luckily the weather seems to have turned - we almost got into the positives today, the temperature was -0.8C... amazing! We were walking around in t-shirts enjoying the warmth!

Bringing much excitement to the team was cargo delivered from the ship to Davis to us. How incredible to have some fresh friut and veg (we're looking forward to the smashed avo on toast for Saturday brunch!) and MAIL. Such a bonus to the station morale to finally receive items we've been slowly purchasing over the year, and Christmas presents from family and friends. We're now set for Christmas celebrations just a month away.

We wish all the best to Dave, Fitzy, Tyson and Kade on their journey home and reunion with family and friends, and thank them for a wonderful winter.

And we welcome to the family, Andy, Alan, Terry and Anne. Here's to a great summer ahead.