Icebergs, adventure and friendships for life: Applications open for Antarctic trades 21 November 2023

Australian Antarctic Division

Have you ever thought about working in Antarctica? Recruitment is now open for the 2024/25 Antarctic season. Electricians, carpenters, mechanics, plumbers, chefs and information technology officers are among the 36 different roles on offer.

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) recruits more than 200 tradespeople every year to help run Australia’s four scientific research stations at Casey, Davis and Mawson and on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Plant operator Tom Gersbach has spent most of 2023 at Casey and the Wilkins Aerodrome, preparing and maintaining the ice runway used to fly expeditioners into and out of Antarctica over the summer months.

He lists some of the highlights of his time down south as “the wildlife, the scenery and the lifelong friendships you make.”

“The biggest highlight is definitely the people,” Mr Gersbach said.

“I have made mates for life down here. You’re surrounded by like-minded people who are all here to experience and soak in this incredible place.”

On a professional level, the aerodrome crew had a huge task preparing the ice runway this year, removing “one of the largest snow berms in the runway’s history”.

“In a professional sense I got a lot of pride and feeling of achievement through some of the big milestones we hit this season,” Mr Gersbach said.

“When we came back to Wilkins after the winter at Casey we had a runway built in record time.”

While the work days could be long, the day tripping options more than made up for it.

The plant operator took a boat trip out around the icebergs, visited seal colonies and took a dip in freezing Antarctic waters to mark the winter solstice.

“My advice for anyone thinking of working in Antarctica is do it!” Mr Gersbach said.

“Bring an open mind and make sure you jump on all the opportunities you have to go out and see and do things you’ll never get a change to do anywhere else.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”

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