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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
Friday 16 January 2004
Chefs, tradies, science support personnel and others with a spirit of adventure and a taste for the unusual are being sought for the work experience of a lifetime - a stint in Antarctica.
The Australian Government's Antarctic Division (AAD) is about to advertise positions at its Antarctic continental stations Casey, Davis and Mawson and on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island for 2005.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, said that suitably qualified men and women were needed to help maintain Australia's stations and to support its science programs.
Dr Stone said that she was keen to see more women in Antarctica.
"For many years, Antarctica was regarded as a male domain but since 1981 women have been wintering over at our stations," Dr Stone said.
"It was considered a bold move then, but time has shown that a gender mix is beneficial to all on station because it is more representative of the real world.
"The Australian Government is committed to gender equity in its Antarctic program and while the numbers of women are slowly increasing, we would like to see more apply.
"We also want to encourage new people to apply. We can't be relying on the same people year after year.
"Many expeditioners have returned to Antarctica several times and their experience is invaluable but we are also keen to attract a broader group of people, particularly those from rural areas."
Dr Stone said that part of Australia's role in managing its Antarctic territory was to educate people about the importance of its science, operational and support programs.
"What better way to do that than to recruit new people who can return from Antarctica to their own communities and spread the message.
"The mix of new and experienced expeditioners is the best way to ensure that the longstanding tradition of supporting Australia's Antarctica program continues."
Dr Stone said that regardless of gender or location, so long as people were physically fit and able to meet the requirements, their applications would be considered.
"I would encourage anyone who believes they have the skills and personal attributes the AAD is looking for to apply for the vacancies to be advertised in this weekend's papers," Dr Stone said.
The AAD is inviting applications for the following positions at its four southern stations:
Comprehensive employment packages include salary, accommodation and training in Hobart prior to departure, reunion travel, provision of specialised equipment and clothing, and health care.