Icy adventure for shire model in the name of science

Global awareness: Environmental role model, Laura Wells.
Global awareness: Environmental role model, Laura Wells.

When 80 women make their way to Antarctica, there along for the year-long ride will be Sutherland Shire’s Laura Wells.

The model-turned-environmental ambassador was selected to be part of a science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) project launched by Homeward Bound, a leadership, strategic and science initiative for women.

It will host the world’s largest all-women gender forum.

The voyage is a culmination of a 12-month program giving women skills in self-awareness, strategy and access to a powerful global network of female scientists.

The group comprises of women from 18 countries, all of whom are leaders in STEMM.

This project was launched in 2016, and give women the opportunity to contribute to policy and decision making as it informs the sustainable future of the planet.

It also aims to boost the visibility and skills of women in these areas of employment.

Ms Wells, whose background is in science and marine biology, ventures to the icy destination this month to discuss climate change solutions.

Regions of Antarctica are among the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet.

The study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their roles in the climate system, provides critical insights into global-scale change, and the influence of human activities on environmental change.

“This is the perfect location to not only learn more about our changing environments but to learn leadership skills in a remote, challenging setting, see our planet in one of its purest forms,” Ms Wells said.

“There is a lack of women in science leadership positions.

“With an under-representation of women in leadership, we are denying ourselves the inclusion of many great minds to solve problems associated with climate change and ocean health.

“A shift in the landscape of gender equity globally will benefit scientific research and the broader community.”

Fellow aspiring science leader, Kogarah Bay student Claudia McDonnell, recently received a $2000 grant from Rockdale Rotary Club to attend a national youth science forum in Canberra.

There she met leading industry professional in STEM including Nobel Peace Prize winners and chief Australian scientists.