Business Hub

Responsible for running the HB business, making and managing key decisions, ensuring the delivery of the HB Strategy.
Also oversight of all operational decisions regarding scheduling, ships and building/managing strategic alliances, in order to ensure the growing
impact and sustainability of HB.

Fabian Dattner
Founder & CEO of Homeward Bound
HB Impact Theme Leader

Fabian Dattner is well known to many Australians. She is founding partner of Dattner Grant (Facebook Page), highly regarded leadership experts, and founder of Compass (Facebook Page), a national leadership initiative for women. Dattner Grant are also the initiators of Women at Their Best, a Facebook site for ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Fabian is widely recognised for her commitment to helping hundreds of men and women, in as many organisations from Board to basement. She has multiple technical accreditations and has been included in as many books as she’s written. She’s a speaker, educator and social entrepreneur, and a regular commentator in the media on leadership and ethical issues in Australia today and the role of women in building a sustainable future. She has been three times a finalist in the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards (last in 2016) and has been selected as one of the NAB 2016’s 100 Women of Influence. Connect with Fabian: LinkedInTwitter, Facebook

Marshall Cowley
Program Design Architect
HB Experience Theme Leader

Marshall joined Dattner Grant in 2007 as a Senior Consultant. He is a talented facilitator and coach that works to build the capability of leaders to create high performance cultures. Marshall brings a depth of experience in Learning and Development and Organisational Development and so is able to ensure that the various programs, initiatives and interventions he develops are well integrated with the organisation’s strategic framework. He has taught undergraduate subjects within the Faculty of Management at the University of Newcastle, and presented at numerous conferences both domestically and internationally. He possesses a high degree of commercial acumen, financial management skills and understands principles of good governance, having served on several Boards.

Michelle Crouch
Homeward Bound Foundations Theme Leader

Michelle Crouch is Operations Director and a leadership coach/consultant at Dattner Grant, with over 20 years’ business experience. She retrained as a coach in 2015 and was accredited in several psychometric  tools, including Human Synergistics’ Life Styles Inventory. Since then, she has become a highly regarded contributor to Dattner Grant’s signature leadership initiative for women, Compass. She is a Homeward Bound founding Board member (Company Secretary and acting Chair) and on the Hub as the Foundations theme leader. Michelle has also been a leadership coach for Homeward Bound and a member of the HB3 on-board faculty.

Dr Justine D. Shaw
Homeward Bound Co-founder
Science Stream Leader and facilitator
HB Community Theme Co-leader

Justine is a Research FellowCentre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The University of Queensland, Australia. She is a research leader in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic conservation. Justine is interested in understanding the way in which species interact with each other and how this shapes ecosystems. Her research examines the role of environmental factors in influencing species abundance, distribution and occurrence. Justine is currently examining the impacts of humans on Antarctica and how we can better protect it. She is investigating how island ecosystems respond to pest eradications to inform conservation decision making.

Justine has a large global research network, having worked in Australia, South Africa, sub-Antarctic/Antarctic and the Arctic. She has been ‘going south’ for over 20 years and is passionate about expedition science, having spent many hours in the snow, wind and rain with a pack on her back. Through her research and engagement, she hopes to further conservation of these last true wilderness areas.

She is chair of the SCAR Action group on Integrated Science for the sub-Antarctic and an executive member of the Australian Academy of Science, Early Mid-Career Research Forum and is a subject editor for several scientific journals. Justine is a strong advocate for gender equity and inclusivity in STEMM. She is a co-founder of Homeward Bound and the Women in Polar Science Network. Justine is a Homeward Bound co-founder and has been on-board Science facilitator also on HB1 and HB2.

Dr Mary-Anne Lea
Homeward Bound Co-founder
Science Stream Leader and facilitator
HB Community Theme Co-leader

Mary-Anne is a polar marine ecologist whose research focuses on the influence of climate change and variability within the marine environment on top predator behaviour, and distributions in the Southern Ocean and Alaska. She has participated in over 20 remote expeditions and voyages to study marine mammals and seabirds. Currently, Mary-Anne is an Associate Professor in the Ecology and Biodiversity Centre at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.

She is a strong advocate for equity and inclusivity in all walks of life, and is happiest when collaborating with others. Mary-Anne has worked with researchers all over the globe and across systems (sub-Antarctic/Antarctic, sub-Arctic Alaska and North Pacific and temperate). She is a member of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) CCAMLR delegation, the SCAR Expert Group of Birds and Marine Mammals and also co-founded the Women in Polar Science Network. She is a Homeward Bound co-founder and has been an on-board Science facilitator for HB1 and HB2.


Responsible for development and delivery of content – online, onshore and on-board – for each annual program.

The HB Faculty Team comprises three groups:

  • Stream Leaders are experts in their field who are the principle designers and facilitators of the online program content. They are a core group from year to year, and may also be on-board facilitators.
  • On-board Faculty are additionally invited onto the program to principally deliver Stream content, which is developed collaboratively with Stream Leaders, on-board the ship voyaging to Antarctica. This group is cohort-specific, each individual bringing a ‘special something’ to the experience and development of Homeward Bound.
  • Wellbeing Team, which is a group that has both online and on-board representatives who, together, aim to ensure the psychological safety and wellbeing of both faculty and participants.

Meet our Stream and Team Leaders, and the full faculty team for each cohort here: HB4, HB3, HB2, HB1

HB Program Management Team

This small but dedicated team – working from ‘HB HQ’ – aims to ensure the successful administration and delivery of the Homeward Bound initiative;
principally, its leadership programs but also its outreach activities. They also help facilitate the development and growth of Homeward Bound by supporting
and coordinating key HB teams and stakeholders in the implementation of strategy towards achievement of HB’s vision and purpose.

Amy Stevenson
Homeward Bound Program Coordinator (Community)

Amy is a community development practitioner and evaluation specialist and brings with her more than 10 years’ experience working in cultural asset-based community development across Australia, Timor-Leste and Cambodia. She recognises climate change as the most significant issue of our time and is passionate to support evidence-based action that will help foster positive change in our environment and communities. Amy will be working across the Homeward Bound alumnae community and their projects, in addition to supporting our Board and Business Hub.

Lucy Varley-Kean
Homeward Bound Program Coordinator
Lucy joined Homeward Bound as Hayley’s maternity leave replacement in December 2018. She brings with her 20 years of experience in administration, working in a variety of organisations in Australia, the US and UK. Lucy is well regarded for her exceptional customer focus, dedication, drive and passion. She demonstrates a high level of integrity, lives her values, cares for people, and enjoys making connections and achieving outcomes in pursuit of a meaningful purpose.
Hayley Young
Homeward Bound Program Coordinator
(on maternity leave from February 2019)
Hayley first joined the Dattner Grant team in 2008 and, after study, re-joined the team in 2013. In 2015, she started working within the Global Women’s Project and became the Homeward Bound Program Coordinator. Hayley has a passion for exceptional client service, and loves her role in assisting both the program participants throughout their Homeward Bound journey and also the Leadership Team, who are all volunteering their time and expertise to Homeward Bound outside of their full-time jobs. Hayley had the opportunity to join HB2 in Antarctica in February-March of 2018 and had an amazing time experiencing the magic of Homeward Bound, and feels privileged to have been able to join the 78 amazing women on the ship. Hayley has a background in youth work and is passionate about seeing women grow in their leadership capability, their influence and their impact on the world.
Narelle Sullivan
Homeward Bound Operations Manager
Narelle comes to Homeward Bound with a volume of experience and background leading business development strategy across the arts, social services and women’s health sector. She is a candidate for Executive Master of Business Administration and is also an experienced freelance writer and editor. We look forward to her impact in Homeward Bound managing our main stakeholder relationships in partnership with the Homeward Bound Leadership Group – unifying the wide variety of threads that make up the extensive Homeward Bound initiative and associated projects.

Leadership Group

This group includes all the key HB teams – Hub, Board,faculty, program management – and also individuals who in various ways are active in taking the lead and/or contributing their expertise to content, operations, strategy and new/emerging initiatives in support of Homeward Bound.

The Convergence Steering Committee 

The Convergence Steering Committee acts as a conduit between alumnae and HB leadership, to facilitate connection and information exchange, to offer support to new cohorts, to provide updates about what alumnae are up to and how alumnae can get involved in HB projects. The Committee consists of 10 members from across all graduate cohorts. They connect to alumnae via social media, quarterly newsletters and other communication platforms. Connect with TCSC here

Britta Denise Hardesty
HB1 Alumna

Britta Denise Hardesty is a Principal Research Scientist for CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere. A broadly trained ecologist, Denise’s work has taken her to all seven continents, studying everything from penguins in Antarctica to hornbills in West Africa, the rainforests of central and South America, and looking at plastic waste along the most remote coastlines in Australia. For the last decade her work has increasingly focused on plastic pollution, looking at impacts on wildlife such as seabirds, turtles and marine mammals. She advocates for the role of science in underpinning policy and decision making, and has served as a scientific expert on a number of international panels. Denise regularly provides advice to governments and international bodies and she believes strongly in the contribution of communities, having worked with more than 8000 citizen scientists over the last few years to help tackle the plastic pollution problem.


Songqiao Yao
HB1 on-board Logistics and Communications / Chinese outreach

Songqiao describes herself as an Earth-inspired explorer and educator. She brings interdisciplinary and cross-cultural experience as a researcher, activist and entrepreneur working on global environmental sustainability issues such as food, water, and climate change. Driven by her 9-year-old dream, she raised $20,000 dollars in 2015 through crowdfunding for an advocacy trip to Antarctica and started the 2048 project to educate children about climate change and Antarctic conservation. She started actively campaigning on environmental justice and climate change as a researcher and youth delegate at UN climate change conferences in 2010. She has facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogues and built partnership between China-US, China-EU and BASIC countries climate organisations. In 2012, she helped build the environmental NGO International Rivers’ China office and strengthened its program on river protection in China through extensive field research and policy publications. Her ethnographic research along the Nu/Salween river has won a National Geographic Global Explorer grant. As a social entrepreneur, she has co-founded a healthy snacks brand in Beijing and has initiated or consulted for agriculture and food security projects in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. She graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and was a Gates Cambridge Scholar focusing on China’s role in the Arctic. She recently finished her MBA at University of Oxford as a Skoll Scholar.

Dr Deb O’Connell
HB3 on-board Overall & Leadership facilitator 
HB1 Alumna

Deb loves to explore and understand the world, in all its many facets. She started life in Zimbabwe, then moved to South Africa and settled in Australia at 21. Her career has also been a journey through different approaches to making a positive difference in the world. Having started in the biophysical sciences, she realised that different outcomes for the planet could best be achieved by working with and through people, so for the last 20 years her work has focussed on leading teams to address global issues. Her core strengths are systems thinking and leadership; integration across disciplines, sectors, scales and different types of stakeholders; and working at the boundary of theory and practice. Deb’s work in the areas of resilience, adaptation pathways and transformation of social-ecological systems has prepared her well to understand and help manage a rapidly changing world and uncertain future.

Deb has a creative approach to collaboration and co-production of knowledge, and embraces the arts and humanities as critical ways to improve the relevance and impact of science. She has built many successful partnerships and collaborations with a range of people, disciplines and organisations, which is reflected in the range of projects she has led, and her co-authorship on a range of different types of publications.

Heidi Steltzer
HB1 Alumna

Heidi is an environmental scientist, an explorer and a science communicator, sharing her passion for science with others. She is an Associate Professor at Fort Lewis College, Colorado, which has a tuition-waiver for Native Americans. She studies how environmental changes affect mountain watersheds and Arctic systems and their link to our wellbeing. Heidi’s research has been published in Nature and other prominent journals, and featured in media including the New York Times.


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