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Fridgies wanted … in Antarctica

The Australian Antarctic Program is currently recruiting refrigeration mechanics. The program is led by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), a division of the Department of Environment and Energy, which operates from its headquarters in Kingston, Tasmania.

The position is part of the team which maintains and develops the Australian stations on the Antarctic continent and at Macquarie Island. The successful candidate will be responsible for installing and maintaining station domestic and commercial refrigeration plants, and assisting with general maintenance and construction.

Antarctic Division’s human resources manager, Andrew Groom, told the ABC that it was a common misconception that only scientists worked in Antarctica.

He said refrigeration mechanics are needed because a lot of samples and food need to be kept at a temperature that’s actually above the outside temperature.

Refrigeration mechanics generally work in summer jobs, with the station location dependent on requirements. Winter jobs are occasionally available when required for a specific project.

Working in Antarctica isn’t for the faint-hearted, though. Successful expeditions depend on those involved being content with their decision to leave their homes and families to live and work in Antarctica. Separation can be challenging for both parties, and some find it hard to live in such challenging conditions.

Those who make it can enjoy a $65,019 annual base salary (while in Australia) and additional allowances totalling $59,778 per annum while working in Antarctica.

The refrigeration mechanic will be required to undertake some or all of the following:

  • Maintain the refrigeration plant and equipment at a station for both food storage and scientific storage
  • Manage stocks of refrigerants, ensuring that environmental standards and reporting requirements are met
  • Carry out the installation of new cool rooms (when scheduled), including the insulating panels, hardware and refrigeration system
  • Prepare and submit technical reports
  • Maintain the refrigeration stock inventories and coordinate the reorder of spare parts, materials and equipment
  • Assist with tasks in the construction and maintenance of buildings and services.

Applications close on Thursday, January 24. Click here to find out more and apply.

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