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Meet Matilda Ballinger


Domestic at Scott Base.

Job description: 

Make sure the base is clean and tidy.

Work background: 

I have worked in hotels before as a cleaner but I just finished my Masters in Marine and Antarctic Science. I was looking at mapping the rocks in Antarctica, luckily because Antarctica is mainly covered in ice there isn’t too much!

Favourite part of job: 

Meeting all the cool new people that come through the base and learning about all the science that goes on here in Antarctica. A highlight of this season was getting to see emperor penguins on my day off. They came up and sat right next to me which was pretty special and something that I will never forget.

Least favourite part of job: 

Sorting through the rubbish to make sure it is in the correct recycling streams.

What I am working on now: 

As a domestic I don’t get to fully engage in the science but on my days off I try to. I was able to help take some water samples and measurements from some sites where some American’s have been diving to collect starfish samples. Pretty cool that people get to dive in -2 degree water surrounded by ice and the occasional curious seal and penguin!

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

It’s pretty funny trying to get to the food that is stored outside, the ground can get very slippery when you are carrying lots of boxes of cornflakes back for everyone’s breakfast!


Masters in Marine and Antarctic Science.

Interests outside work: 

Surfing and hiking.

Matilda works at Scott Base as a domestic, keeping the base clean and tidy. Image: LEARNZ.