Marianne Harvey, businesswoman and mother of two from Farley, will spend 20 days at sea in Antarctica with 77 other female scientists from around the world all sharing one focus – the world as our home. Marianne was selected in an initial round of 42 participants for the trip, the world’s first state‐of‐the‐art leadership and strategic programme for women in science.
The brainchild of renowned Australian leadership expert Fabian Dattner and the product of collaboration with Dr Jess Melbourne‐Thomas from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, the trip will focus on the leadership and planning required to contribute to the recognition of our planet as home.
The project is the start of a 10-year outreach initiative to build a 1,000 strong global collaboration of women in science, who have had the same experience at sea together receiving education on leadership, strategic skills and global climate, biological and earth system science.
A geologist having worked for more than 20 years in the mining industry and founder of Mining & Exploration Geological Modelling Services (MEGMS), Marianne hopes the experience of the programme will develop her communication skills to promote healthy dialogue for change rather than blame between resource industry players, environmental groups and the wider community, particularly within the Hunter Valley.
“We will achieve a balance in providing materials and energy sustainably to the world such that we decrease global degradation” Marianne said.
“Of course it will take time but human beings are an adaptable species with an intelligence for survival. We just need to accept that we can be flexible, do more with less, and realise that we do all play a part in looking after our home.”
Homeward Bound organiser Fabian Dattner, says that women are the backbone of the not‐for‐profit, disability and education sectors.
“They are emerging in all universities as significant percentages of graduates, they take up significant percentages of our workforce and they provide the most unpaid community work. They do most of the work in our homes, are more trustworthy with money and they excel at all but four of 16 well-researched leadership capabilities. And they are in a profound minority in executive decision making roles which shape our future,” Fabian said.
Although Marianne does not describe herself as a feminist, she claims that by nature women are especially collaborative in their problem solving capabilities and often possess incredible coping skills.
“This builds a knowledge of resilience mechanisms that perhaps never occur to men. Together with our nurturing instincts, women are well placed to forward plan for a sustainable future and should be given every opportunity for their voices to be heard,” Marianne continued.
In addition to her desire to improve her communication and leadership skills, Marianne is excited that the opportunity to travel to the end of the Earth will provide her with additional material to incorporate into her Rocks and Minerals Roadshows.
“I present these at local pre-schools and primary schools. I really enjoy talking about the Earth to young kids and seeing their little faces light up as their imaginations connect with the fact the world is not just what they see around them every day. That we live on this dynamic ball of (mostly) rock travelling through space and time!”
Marianne will be hosting a number of social events in Maitland over the coming months to fund-raise to cover some of the $20,000 cost of the trip.
“With assistance from Carolyn Scott of Blackbird Artisan Bakery, we will be having a range of functions to tempt audiences from all professions and walks of life to help support my participation in this inspiring leadership initiative.”