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Jan 30, 2016 4:28 EST

Homeward Bound – South Australian Team: Empowering women to become global leaders in sustainability

iCrowdNewswire - Jan 30, 2016

Homeward Bound is a new and exciting initiative aiming to provide 1000 female scientists with leadership and strategic training, and scientific expertise focusing on the global environment, through expeditions to Antarctica over a 10 year period.

2016 will see the inaugural program, with 78 female scientists from around the world on an Australian lead expedition.

The aim of the program is to promote and support female leadership around the world to help guide us towards a more sustainable future and healthier planet. The women participating have different backgrounds, different science disciplines and are at different stages in their careers. But we all have a common goal: to empower women and support female leaders in science, with the aim of guiding the major decisions that are impacting on the health of the planet and its citizen.

Who makes up the South Australian Team?

There are three scientists from Adelaide, from different disciplines, joining this amazing experience.

Briony Ankor

Briony is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia. Her research focuses on the use of satellite imagery to provide better information for environmental policy development and management.

Karen Hawke

Karen recently submitted her PhD about the evolution of the HIV gene to Flinders University, and works at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Aboriginal Infant and Maternal Health with an infectious disease focus.

Jennifer Ayres

Jennifer has been a water engineer working around the world for 15 years but has taken time out to undertake her PhD at the University of South Australia. This research is investigating waste water settlement techniques.

The common thread…

Briony, Karen, and Jeni all have a passion for roller derby. This is where the friendship began and the competitiveness can play out.

Jennifer and Karen play in a mixed gender roller derby league: Light City Derby, and Briony plays in an all female league: the Murder City Roller Girls. The women are all on different teams and have been known to face off against each other on the track, where for one hour the friendships are put to the side. But we can guarantee that it is smiles all-round come the end of the bout!

Briony aka “Plan B”

Karen aka “Skates of Wrath”

Jennifer aka “Brawl Britannia”

Homeward Bound – Supporting the role of Female leadership in Science

It is no surprise to hear that women are under-represented in leadership positions globally and despite increasing dialogue and small improvements in the balance, change has been slow. This under-representation comes at a time when female leaders can make a tangible difference in the development of a more sustainable world.

Women are the back bone of the not-for-profit, disability, and education sectors. Across universities they are emerging as the majority of graduates, they take up significant percentages of our workforce, they provide the majority of unpaid community work, and they do most of the work in our homes.

Recent research has shown that women excel in 14 of 16 well established leadership capabilities. And yet, they are in a profound minority globally, in executive decision making roles which shape society’s future.

The graph below shows Australian higher education gender imbalance in the teaching of science disciplines.

Gender disparity in the natural and physical sciences at the higher academic levels (B to E)
Source: Higher Education Research Data Collection 2012, Department of Education; Office of the Chief Scientist, Australia.

Homeward Bound aims to help address this imbalance

2016 sees a state of the art leadership and strategic program for 78 women in science from around the globe, with a vision ford a new future for our planet.

Over a period of 10 years, Homeward Bound aims to build a global collaboration of 1,000 women with scientific backgrounds, supporting them into leadership roles, and encouraging them to stay. These women will help shape policy, and decision making, guiding the planet towards a more sustainable future. Homeward Bound will create a network of women, each fighting for change and collaborating towards a shared vision.

2016 will see the first 78 of these women collaborating on related research projects which will culminate during an expedition to Antarctica in December 2016. The expedition will involve three intensive training programs based on: leadership, strategic planning, and global science.

Why Antarctica in 2016?

  • Regions of Antarctica show the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet.
  • The study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their roles in the Earth and climate system, provides critical insights into global-scale change, and the influence of human activities on environmental change.
  • Antarctica is iconic: a wild, beautiful and unique environment that has captured the imagination of many leaders in the past. It is our inspiration and our vision.

Why the need for fundraising

This cost of the voyage is $30,000 USD per person. Approximately half of the cost is being covered by Homeward Bound’s partners and supporters, and the participants are seeking support and donations to contribute to the remaining $15,000 USD (approx. $22,000 AUD).

It is a big task but with your help we can help pave the way to empower female scientists across the globe for years to come. Thank you.

Contact Information:

Jennifer Ayres

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