I just had such an extraordinary year at Casey, I fell in love with the place. I've been a little bit homesick in the three years since I was there. I'm really looking forward to experiencing the environment again but slightly different, at a different station.
I love the wildlife and the weather. Living through blizzards is incredible and I just love the community and experiencing that with, a sort of, like-minded group of expeditioners.
Mawson's always been on my bucket list. It's the station that has the, sort of, historical context. A beautiful environment, has the mountain ranges behind the station and the ice plateau.
And then get lots of opportunity to travel on the sea ice, and then that big bucket list item of visiting the emperor penguin colonies, and getting to do, sort of, scientific monitoring of those colonies, which would be amazing.
I am down on station for a year. We go in in February and then come out again the following February. And I will have 15 expeditioners, well there'll be 15 of us counting me. Some of the skills I have that set me up well for work in Antarctica? I've been in the Navy for over 30 years. Probably 10 to 15 years of that in leadership positions, and in particular I was the Commanding Officer of Garden Island in Sydney. So I had potentially about 5,000 people working on that base and I was responsible for them. So the job's very similar in Antarctica, just a lot less people, but a lot more isolated.
I think the things that make a good Antarctic team are that sense of community. We all get in and work together towards that, sort of, ultimate objective of, you know, getting through the season, getting all of your operational plans done for the year. You need to be resilient and adaptable because things will always change down there and resilience is important because we are isolated.
We're stuck down there for, you know, at least eight months before anyone can come and get us, so we need to be quite resilient, and just be enthusiastic and love the place and, sort of, want to be there, to experience it.
So they're the qualities that make a good team. If there's anything I would do differently? I think I had such an extraordinary experience last time I probably wouldn't change too much. I think I would, now that I know what it's like, and what the role is like, I'll be much more efficient. And I will potentially sing a little bit less karaoke!