“It’s very exciting”: new Mawson station leader ready for challenge 9 February 2021

Australian Antarctic Division

This season’s Station Leader for Mawson research station is Jason Ahrens.

Mawson will complete a full station sweep for Jason, who has spent time at Davis, Casey and on Macquarie Island.

“Mawson’s a place that I’ve been very keen to get to,” Jason said.

“My first trip south in 2006 I wintered with a station leader who had previously done Mawson, who talked about it and showed a lot of photos that certainly made me hungry to get there.”

“I’m really looking forward to getting out and seeing the Emperor penguin colonies.”

Of course, it’s not just the penguins… Jason said he was relishing another opportunity to lead an Antarctic station community.

He said every group of expeditioners was different and would experience their own unique challenges.

“I think a station leader’s someone who’s fair and can listen and is supportive of other people, differences between people – and to manage those differences and keep the people together as one,” he said.

“For me it’s rewarding to see people achieve what they want to achieve personally when they go down south. If I can give them the tools to do that, I walk away happy as well.”

Although COVID-19 pandemic had altered the traditional lead-up to the season, Jason said his team was well prepared, with “a good mix of returning and quite seasoned expeditioners,” as well as five “newbies.”

“They’re fantastic, they bring so much energy to the place,” he said.

“It’s very exciting because you get to meet a group of new people every time.”

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