Fulfilling childhood dreams

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

Leading Seaman Hydrographic Systems Operator Cameron Rea 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)
Leading Seaman Hydrographic Systems Operator Cameron Rea 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.

Far from his hometown of Dubbo, Leading Seaman Cameron Rea will live his childhood dream when he sails for Antarctica onboard an icebreaker to conduct a surveying mission as part of the Royal Australian Navy.

Leading Seaman Rae is travelling to the ice consumed continent as part of the Deployable Geospatial Support Team (DGST), and will deploy with the Antarctic Survey Vessel (ASV) Wyatt Earp in RSV Aurora Australis for a month over Christmas.

Cameron is a trained Hydrographic System Operator and will be the supervisor and driver of the Wyatt Earp as she sails around Antarctica gathering valuable survey data for use in the development of nautical navigational charts and in Australian scientific research.

“Our role is very important. We are providing tools so other mariners can safely travel in the region. This supports tourism and cruise ships that may wish to visit the area and helps the Australian Antarctic Division when they re-supply vessels operating in the area,” said LS Rae.

Aside from completing important survey work, LS Rae says the Antarctic deployment is the culmination of what he has been working for.

“It’s been something I have always wanted to do since I was a little kid. Everything I have done in the Navy has been to get to this position, so I could not be happier,” said LS Rae.

“I have been very lucky in my postings and deployments to get to this moment, this was always my goal and I am happy that I was able to reach it so quickly.”

The natural beauty of the environment is something that LS Rae is looking forward to experiencing.

“We theoretically have the opportunity to see the Aurora Australis, it’s the right time of year but it is very weather dependent; so hopefully, we are lucky enough to catch it, otherwise I really want to take a photo of a penguin,” said LS Rae.

“Come December, when the mission is complete, I will be the happiest guy in the cosmos!”

When the job is complete, LS Rae is looking forward to sharing his experiences with his family and friends back in Dubbo.

“I grew up on a small farm property just outside of town and attended Dubbo High School. At school I played for the Westside Panthers. Every memory I have from there is fantastic. I can’t wait to catch up with my younger brother to share all the experiences I had when I get back,” said LS Rae.