Rookie heads to Antarctica

Published on Ms Eliza Bavin (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Able Seaman Hydrographic Systems Operator Roek Dyer from Deployable Geospatial Survey Team One makes final checks on the survey equipment before flying to Hobart to join Aurora Australis for a surveying deployment to the Australian Antarctic Region. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
Able Seaman Hydrographic Systems Operator Roek Dyer from Deployable Geospatial Survey Team One makes final checks on the survey equipment before flying to Hobart to join Aurora Australis for a surveying deployment to the Australian Antarctic Region.

Able Seaman Roek Zachary Dyer could not be further from his hometown of Nedlands, Perth, nor could he be farther removed from the warm Australian summer, as he prepares to deploy to Antarctica to conduct a surveying mission over Christmas this year.

AB Dyer will travel to Antarctica as part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Deployable Geospatial Support Team (DGST) embarked in the Antarctic Survey Vessel (ASV) Wyatt Earp in RSV Aurora Australis.

The high quality data collected by the Navy team will assist the Australian Antarctic Division in their ongoing marine research and monitoring of the environment around the Australian Antarctic stations.

Roek, called “Rookie” by his shipmates, is a trained Hydrographic System Operator and will help drive the Wyatt Earp, assist the bowman and collecting terrestrial data to assist in the development of nautical navigational charts and Australian scientific research.

“I’m really looking forward to completing the work we are assigned to do over there. It’s a really great crew and a really great ship. The job is important, as it will give mariners the confidence to travel in the region. It feels great to be a part of it,” said AB Dyer.

Rookie is actually not much of a ‘rookie’ at all, as he has taken part in a number of trained courses to become qualified for the Antarctica trip.

“I completed the Basic Surveying Course at HMAS Penguin, then went on to do Gunners Yeomen, and the Survival Equipment Maintainer course,” said AB Dyer.

“I have been part of Operation RENDER SAFE in the Solomon Islands and the Queensland Flood Assist, surveying the waters around the state, but this will be my first deployment with DGST.”

This will be the first time AB Dyer has gone to Antarctica and he says it has been exciting waiting to deploy.

“We have been preparing for this trip for a long time; getting the ship ready, and making sure everything is in order – so its really exciting the time has finally come to set out.”

Back in his hometown, before joining the Australian Defence Force, Rookie was a contractor for Aarde Constructions. He attended Shenton Senior High School, and played for the Riverside Lions Hockey Club in Perth. He said he is looking forward to sharing the stories from his trip with his family and friends upon his return.

“I’m really excited to share the experiences I have whilst in Antarctica with all my friends when I return home. Some of the best memories I have of being in Perth were camping with my friends. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen all of them, and we always have a great time together.”