A True LeaderHerShip Story: #TeamHB3’s Antarctic Expedition

I’ve returned to Australia feeling inspired, emotional, excited, privileged, driven and hopeful.

Firstly, I am beyond grateful for the creative vision of Fabian Dattner (see photo below) for enacting her dream. With initiative, passion, commitment, tenacity, stubborn optimism and a courageous spirit, you have co-created the Homeward Bound legacy.

FabianWith 90 big-hearted and talented women from all over the globe, for the first three weeks of 2019 I underwent the most inspiring ‘LeaderHerShip’ program imaginable.

HB Heart 2

An incubator for transformational learning:

We entered into the “belly of the dragon” and started with deep introspection of “self” to better understand our LeaderHerShip strengths and weaknesses.


Individually and collectively we designed strategies, cross-pollinated ideas, learnt, laughed, cried, danced and grew in an indescribable three weeks. Without question, the transformative experience provided a once in a lifetime learning opportunity. I will do a separate blog on the nuts-and-bolts of the program later.


49579429_1581056898664696_2207404476208250880_oBeing in Antarctica undoubtedly amplified our understanding of climate change and clearly made the expedition immensely richer. For instance, the three weeks #HB3 spent with female empowerment advocate and our revered co-facilitator Christiana Figueres was utterly mind-blowing.


Photo: One of my highlights: spending time with Christiana Figueres.

As a world leader in climate change she remarked about the success of the program:

“It was a veritable voyage of discovery, since nature in the Antarctic is still changing at a very rapid pace. I was overjoyed to observe how these great women scientists have undertaken to use their experience to help humanity address climate change and to lead profound changes planet-wide”.


The pristine natural landscape

We saw countless whales, penguins, seals, and icebergs whilst also experiencing first-hand the power of complete silence in this awe-inspiring wilderness environment.




wave from ship_2299

michelle croucPhoto  Credit: Michelle Couch

christinaPhoto Credit: Christina Devorshak

I have enormous respect for the top-shelf “LeaderHerShip” onboard faculty and co-facilitators (see picture below): Kylie Lewis, Pollyanna Lenkic, Fern Hames, Kate Duncan, Sharon Robinson, Sophie Adams, Deb O’Connell, Michelle Crouch, Christina Figueres and of course, the irrepressible Fabian Dattner. A special shout out to the MV Ushuaia crew Monika, Leandro and Katja etc., who made the trip even more memorable.


For those who helped me get there, especially my sponsors (Western Sydney University, Outdoor Education Group, Rotary Club of Berry, Paddy Pallin, IceBreaker, Harvey Norman) and donors and friends who helped fund the trip.  To my family and most of all my friends, Barb, Mikey, Anna, Des, and many more who allowed me the space to do this project by looking after the farm. And most importantly, a massive thank you to @HomewardBoundProject, @DattnerGrant, @Acciona, and @HumanSynergistics who were the major sponsors of our exquisite program.


Lastly, thank you @MaryMcMillan for this video summary of our trip which beautifully encapsulates our 20-day voyage to Antarctica. Witnessing our journey unfold in Antarctica and now, back in our home towns brings me much joy and prospect.

Because Mother Nature Needs Her Daughters.


After 2 days of on-land leadership training – Bon Voyage and Adios


Excitement is mounting as we distill our leadership learnings and embark to Antarctica:

A once in a life time opportunity. We head with HB#3 tomorrow to Antarctica.

Over the past two days I’ve loved the variety and expansiveness of topics and concepts presented by a stellar leadership training team, Fabian, Kylie, Kit, Deb, Sophie, Sharon and Christiana. For me, the standout was entering into the Belly of the Dragon. More later on this metaphor.




I also learnt the work done at Google is done collaboratively in teams. The research behind What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team is found in:

Project Aristotle

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The through line from the workshops:

Aspirations: Authentically attempting the integration of knowledge and building capacity to execute skills, behaviours and attitudes.

Respect: Self, Others and the Environment. ‘Real Queen’s fix each other’s crowns’


Better me, Better we, Better world

Visibility without Value is Vanity