What is trust? Trust is a key pillar of all good relationships; it is the foundation that supports strong and long-lasting collaborations. It is the base of effective team work. Trust can be thought of as an invitation: an invitation to openness, to communication, to authenticity. Without trust, we may find it difficult to discuss and listen to new ideas, we may too quickly become defensive or indeed avoidant. Trust is one of the essential ingredients that allows innovative ideas to flourish and new concepts to take place. Trust is essential to all human interactions against every backdrop of our lives: at home, at work, and within ourselves.


Homeward Bound has taught us that trust is built on our intention to bring our best selves, to commit, to be present, to listen without judgment, to be kind and generous towards each other, to respect the diversity of our voices and to be accountable for what we stand for as a community. Trust is also action-based. We trust because we see evidence of others being truthful, reliable, and consistent. As a community, we each have committed to say what we mean (with respect and bravery), and do what we say; that combination of credibility and consistency.


In that frame, let’s not forget that like everything else in life, trust begins with ourselves. ‘Be the change that you want to see in others’. Get to know yourself. Be playful, attentive, curious and empathic with yourself. Listen to your intentions and remember that the first step to self-trust is to know yourself. Ask yourself: what are my strengths? My capabilities? My dreams? My hopes? My challenges? Above all, don’t let the ‘perfect you’ get in the way of the more than ‘good enough’ you!


This is environment of trust that Homeward Bound has created for each one of us, for the sake of our community and for the sake of our planet. As we stand by each other as ‘Homeward Bound sisters’, the trusting dynamic of our group is allowing us to build strong, long-lasting and effective collaborations, which will ultimately enable us to make a difference in this world. We have heard the call of our Mother Earth, but we also hear each other and ourselves as individuals within the Homeward Bound community.


Associate Professor Sandra Radovini is Homeward Bound 4’s onboard mental health clinician. She is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Mindful, the Victorian state-wide child and adolescent mental health teaching and training unit for professionals working with children, young people and their families.  She co-wrote this piece onboard the Hebridean Sky with program participant Elisabeth Deschaseaux.  Elisabeth is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry at Australia’s Southern Cross University. As a marine scientist she works on dimethyl sulfide in coral reefs, a sulfur gas that can influence the Earth’s climate.