On this episode of the This is A Man’s World podcast, our guest is Amy, a diesel fitter from Australia who is working in Antarctica this year. Amy describes her journey to becoming a diesel fitter and the long journey (literally and figuratively) that brought her to this station in Antarctica with 18 other people – who happen to be all men.
Her experience in Antarctica has been spectacular and one-of-a-kind, from her encounters with penguins and other wildlife to the auroras she has been able to witness to the team’s excursion to view the wreckage of a Russian aircraft nearby. In fact, the day before her 6-month assignment was set to be completed, she was asked to stay through the winter, so by the time she gets back home to Australia in December, she will have been away for 14 hours.
Amy went through some training before moving to Antarctica to prepare her for the cold, and she has found that she has adjusted better than anticipated. That’s not to say that she won’t be glad to get back to the warmth of Australia, but this is fine for a season. It is difficult to be so far away from her friends and family with no ability to go home at will, but she and her team have become like family. They each have primary and secondary jobs at the station and they play games or do some exploring in their down time.
To any girl who is considering a profession in the trades, especially diesel fitting, Amy says “If you want to do it, make it happen.” There is no way of knowing if the career is right for you except for getting out there and giving it a try. The trades community is so supportive and a great resource for getting started and continuing to grow in your passion.
0:20 – Amy is a diesel fitter from Australia working an assignment in Antarctica for the duration of 2019. She describes her path to get here.
1:45 – Amy’s impression of Antarctica.
2:03 – How Amy got into repairing and maintaining heavy machinery.
3:57 – Her experience working the service side of things after her apprenticeship.
5:05 – How she handles working in the trades and the community she has found, despite only encountering 2 other women in the 10 years in her field.
6:32 – Amy describes the journey to get to Antarctica.
8:15 – How has she found the transition between Australia and Antarctica?
9:25 – While she is equipped with common tools and parts, sometimes she has to make a specialty part for a specific fix.
10:35 – Amy talks about the various transportation methods they use.
11:32 – There are 19 of them living and working at the station, so they spend all of their time together. What do they do? What do they miss most from Australia?
12:58 – What is the purpose of the station? How is the work split up?
14:18 – Amy recounts some of her experiences with the wildlife in the area.
17:02 – When she gets home in December, Amy plans to adjust to Australian weather and all of the people!
18:12 – Amy’s advice to any girl considering becoming a diesel fitter.
19:26 – What is her greatest accomplishment and sacrifice?
20:06 – The curious patterns of the sun in Antarctica.
23:38 – Every team member at the station has a secondary job, since the station operates like a tiny town.
25:13 – What has Amy learned about physical labor?
26:18 – Amy talks about her plans for the future after this assignment is completed.
“It’s quite a spectacular place. Very unique.”
“There’s no way home. Once that ship leaves, you’re here until the ship comes back.”
“If you want to do it, make it happen.”
“Work smart, not hard.”
“I am opening myself up to opportunity.”
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