Justine Shaw in AntarcticaCEED Researcher Justine Shaw is prepared to travel to the end of the Earth to make a difference to our planet's sustainable future. In this case, however, she doesn't mean metaphorically. At the end of 2016 she will be heading for Antarctica as part of an ambitious leadership program called Homeward Bound.

Homeward Bound is all about creating and empowering women leaders. The program has selected 78 remarkable female scientists from all around the world. The women will work on a range of projects through 2016 culminating in a 20-day trip to Antarctica in December 2016.

The major aims of Homeward Bound are to elevate each participant's leadership capabilities, to refine their skills to design and execute strategy, and devise plans for future collaborations as women leaders working towards a sustainable future.

The Antarctic trip will involve an intense schedule of activities relating to the art of leadership, strategic skills and the science of global climate and earth systems. The expedition aims to change the lives of the women on board.

"It's incredibly exciting when you look at the group of women going on the trip," says Shaw, "particularly if you think about what will come out of it, the range of backgrounds and experiences, their scientific disciplines and career stages. This isn't simply a trip to Antarctica, it's about bringing women scientists together and exploring leadership and strategy and ultimately how we can make a change. "

Dr Shaw will be helping to coordinate the science program during the voyage along with Dr Mary-Anne Lea and Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. Shaw's research focus is the conservation of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems and invasive species establishment in these areas of low human pressure (see Decision Point)

Dr Shaw has been 'going south' for 19 years and is passionate about expedition science, having spent many hours in the snow, wind and rain with a pack on her back.

"The entire learning focus will be framed by the Antarctic experience," says Fabian Dattner, renowned Australian leadership expert and the person behind Homeward Bound. "Everything we do, everything we see, all the places we land, the people we meet, the animals we watch, all the discussions between us, the vision and values we focus on, the leadership and strategic content presented; this is all about our role in a sustainable world".

The Antarctic expedition is not the end of the program however. It's really just the beginning with Homeward Bound aiming to build a global collaboration of 1000 women in science over the coming ten years.

More info: https://hbvoyage.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/homeward-bound-media-release.pdf 

Image: Justine Shaw is helping coordinate the science program of the Homeward Bound Antarctic expedition in 2016