Uniting & empowering women to tackle climate change

By Steph Gardner

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Do what you can, when you can.

That’s how we can change the world

My passion is the ocean. The ocean drives and motivates me and it is the reason why I do what I do. My dream is to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on our valuable ecosystems, and how this influences each and every one of us. I want to lead a change and encourage people to translate their intentions into action in order to safeguard these vulnerable marine ecosystems. Your support means the world to me and I am incredibly grateful.                      

 What is Homeward Bound?

Homeward Bound is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica.

The initiative aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.

This 12-month program culminates with a 3-week expedition to Antarctica at the end of the year, where 80 women from 28 different countries join the largest female expedition to Antarctica.

But that's just the ‘tip of the iceberg’... You can learn more about Homeward Bound here.


Two pressing issues facing the world today are gender equality and climate change – and they are intrinsically linked.

Currently, less than 26% of the world's researchers are women and even fewer are in leadership roles.

This under-representation comes at a time when women leaders could make a tangible difference in contributing to a more sustainable world.

Why scientists? Because science touches every aspect of our present and our forecast future. It goes without saying that the voices of women as scientists are vital in helping us solve some of our most intractable problems.

Why Antarctica? Over the last 50 years, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced some of the greatest warming on Earth, and given that Antarctica holds around 90% of Earth’s fresh water as ice, Antarctica is central to understanding the global impacts of climate change.

Why me? I’ve been chosen from thousands of women because the HB Leadership team believes I will make a difference. They realise the importance of providing me with the necessary skills and training to enable me to achieve my goal of changing the way we care for our planet, because it is for all of us.

 Here’s what we’re doing about it

Homeward Bound provides a platform to bring together an incredible diversity of women from around the globe, who may have never have had the opportunity to connect.

Over the next 12 months, the HB3 cohort will each receive coaching and training through programs centered around leadership development, strategic capability, personal visibility, science communication and collaboration. And over 10 years we will gather a global network of 1000 women who are uniting to change gender equality issues as we move towards a sustainable future. 

 But - I need your help!

By building a critical mass of women in science, we can help ensure economies and societies are adaptable and resilient in the face of climate change and other challenges. 

Homeward Bound is 100% self-funded (i.e. ‘not for profit’ and not ‘for profit’) and is largely funded by a significant contribution from Dattner Grant.

The total cost of this 12-month leadership program and 3-week expedition to Antarctica is $40,000 AUD per person.

Of that, approximately $15,000 is subsidised via in-kind contributions already, but each participant is tasked with covering the remaining ~$25,000. This significant investment includes return flights to Ushuaia, accomodation, expedition clothing and equipment, and travel insurance. A full breakdown of program sponsors is provided. A breakdown of program costs is not publically available but I am happy to answer any questions relating to this.

Many participants have full/partial financial support from their employers/workplace - I am entirely self-funded and am kindly asking for support to fund my participation!

But more importantly, your donation will directly contribute to a global collective movement, changing the way we care for our planet.

Fund one. Inspire many.

 Product donations for the raffle

I recieved generous donations from companies that share our vision of creating a sustainable future - check them out! The raffle was drawn 13.11.2018 and you can read my blog post about it here.

Deal sweetener...

If I raise more than my personal target, I will donate the difference to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) - Australia's only national charity dedicated exclusively to protecting ocean wildlife and their homes.

We have an opportunity to do something for the world and you are part of it.

 Recent global media attention

Homeward Bound has already reached an estimated 500 million people around the world! Some of the recent global media including:

Including 2 articles I wrote for Westpac's Ruby Connection:

 About me

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and am an ocean advocate with a lifelong passion for the marine environment.

I’m a marine biologist (coral physiologist and biochemist) and my work focusses on how corals protect themselves against environmental stress caused by climate change.

My ultimate personal and professional dream is to raise awareness for and diagnose the problems facing coral reef ecosystems today and expected into the future in order to safeguard these vulnerable marine ecosystems.

I look to a future of equality, united by common interests that drive us towards a sustainable future we can be proud of.

 Contact details

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, media enquiries, suggestions. My door is always open!

Twitter: @StephGGardner

Email: sgracegardner@gmail.com

Website/HB Blog: stephgardner.weebly.com

Your support means so much and I’d be so grateful if you are able to help me spread the word and share my fundraising page!

We are stronger together.

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Team Members

Steph Gardner