The last time Australian Maritime College alumna Katrina Beams saw Australia's newest 160-metre-long icebreaker was in the Netherlands towards the end of its construction.
Now, the Advanced Diploma of Applied Science (Nautical Science) graduate has joined the Antarctic icebreaker on its arrival into Hobart where she has taken up a position as Second Officer.
"It is nice to see her with all the covers off ... to see her in all her glory," Ms Beams said.
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RSV Nuyina - 'southern lights' in palawa kani - the icebreaker is capable of breaking 1.65-metre thick ice and handling waves over 14 metres.
The icebreaker will be the main lifeline to Australia's Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of UTAS's Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research.
Ms Beams said she hadn't considered a maritime career until attending a Spirit of Tasmania career information session.
"I was actually helping a friend look for a job and there was an information session for stewards on the TT Line and so I went along to the information session with her," Ms Beams said.
"And I really enjoyed it, I applied for a job there and starting working on the Spirit as a Steward before I started looking at other options and was lucky enough to be offered a cadetship."
Ms Beams said she loved that her job allowed her to constantly learn new things and meet new people on voyages to Antarctica.
"Thee people we take down are generally either scientists or they're expeditioners," she said
"So they could be going down to live or work on the Australia base. They could be tradespeople or scientists, so there's always a range of different personalities and fields of experience." With an upcoming trip on Nuyina, Ms Beams said she never got tired of seeing the beauty of Antarctica and loved taking others there for the first time.
"You get to re-live that moment of seeing Antarctica again for the first time through them," she said.
"It's exciting seeing their dreams come true, it's so important to their careers and lives and it's what they are passionate about."
Ms Beams said her passion for the Arctic had yet to waver either. "I'm definitely looking forward to going back down south, I just love the Antarctic experience," she said.
"I can still take a thousand photos in a trip."
A passion for the industry, has led Ms Beams from the role of steward to deck officer through additional training at the AMC in Launceston.
"I've gone from washing dishes and mopping the floors to driving the ships," she said.
Ms Beams said she would encourage the martime industry to everyone, and said that women in particular should consider a seafaring career, though she said it took a level of determination to get a foot in the door.
"My advice would be to never get up," she said.
"I didn't just apply and get a job, whether that was because I was female or otherwise, I had to keep knocking on the door, making it known that I really was serious.
"If it's what you truly want to do, then you just have to keep putting yourself out there and don't take no for an answer."
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