Kim and Rowena at Carrick Bay on Macquarie Island, with a view of the bay and rich vegetation around them
Rowena Hannaford (L) and Kim Kliska (R) at Carrick Bay, March 2022 (photograph: Kim Kliska)

Changing of the guard on Macquarie Island

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The arrival of the icebreaker Nuyina on its resupply voyage to Macquarie Island last week marks the changing of the guard for the PWS staff stationed on the island.

Ranger in Charge since November last year, Rowena Hannaford reflected on the summer spent on the island.  

“Living and working on the island is an incredible experience and such a privilege.  It is a stunningly wild and remote island.   The environment and weather can be extreme, but that is part of the appeal.  The array of wildlife is just amazing, as are the daily interactions.  I have spent a number of summer seasons on the island since the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program (MIPEP) successfully eradicated rodents and rabbits, and it has been wonderful to observe the continued recovery of the island over time.  Sharing this experience with those other people lucky enough to be here is also pretty special”, Rowena said.

“I have had previous summer seasons here with at least 8 or 9 other women at one time, albeit with a larger summering contingent.  This time there were three fantastic women here when I joined, who have all been here for a year.”

Wildlife Ranger Kim Kliska, who has been on the island for a year had only praise and a glowing review of her time there.

“The experience of working on Macca is incredible. We get to live and work in a wildlife documentary in the stunning sub-Antarctic environment,” Kim said.

“It can be cold, windy and challenging, but the places I get to see, creatures I get to observe; from albatross flying above, penguins wandering around and huge elephant seals; it all makes it unforgettable, as do the people I share the experience with. To be able to experience a place like this while making a positive contribution to its protection, is a pleasure and a privilege.”

We thank you both for your work and contribution to the continued protection and conservation of such an iconic and unique location.

Published 22/03/2022