Photo: Farrah Hiramis. Credit: Supplied.

A geothermal geochemist from the Philippines who is passionate about harnessing renewable energy is the recipient of a Homeward Bound scholarship supported by BOC.

Farrah Hiramis leads geochemical studies to keep geothermal power generation sustainable and affordable and help reduce carbon emissions at energy company Contact Energy in New Zealand.

Zie is involved in geothermal developments which will help New Zealand reach carbon neutral targets by 2050.

“I come from the Philippines where I’ve experienced the most damaging typhoon, Haiyan in 2013, so I know what it feels like to be in a third world country and experience the adverse effect of climate change,” zie says.

“Leadership has the influence to change policies, to dictate pursuits in making a difference in the world in terms of our environment, and sustainable use of our natural resources.

“I believe in women leadership because it is the missing piece in advancing humanity into a more sustainable, collaborative, inclusive and effective way of impacting not only our environment but also our human consciousness.”

BOC South Pacific Managing Director Binod Patwari says: “I am incredibly proud that we are able to support Farrah Hiramis to participate in this impressive leadership program, and we look forward to watching Farrah’s progress.”

“By investing in this program we are also investing in the sustainability of the communities which we are proud to support and serve.”

Homeward Bound CEO Pamela Sutton-Legaud says Farrah represents Homeward Bound’s commitment to working with committed scholarship partners to help the organisation’s goal to increase participation diversity.

“We are delighted and proud to offer this scholarship to such a deserving participant.” 

Farrah says the scholarship means that zie can focus hir energy on the task in front of hir: tackling and addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges.

“I am grateful for the generosity of BOC South Pacific for supporting women in STEMM like me who have a profound intention to bring the breadth and depth of our technical abilities to greater heights by taking part in development programs that teach us to have courage to lead,” zie says.

“Thank you for believing in diverse leadership by supporting this unique, timely and very relevant initiative.”

Photo: Geothermal geochemist Farrah Hiramis at work. Credit: Supplied.

The BOC supported scholarship was open to women across the South Pacific region including Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, New Zealand or Australia.

All applicants who met the following criteria set by the Homeward Bound Scholarships committee were considered for the scholarship:

  1. A woman from a country most affected by climate change (filtered by CRI Ranking from the Global Climate Risk Index);
  2. who is economically least likely to pay (filtered by the World Bank Income Index);
  3. and is most able to contribute to change – knowledge and influence, and could make a material difference, if she had community support.

Homeward Bound’s vision is to support and engage a 10,000-strong global collaboration of women with a STEMM background to lead, influence and contribute to decision-making as it informs the future of the planet by 2036.

Every year around 100 successful applicants – who will all be in, or thinking of taking up, leadership roles with a deep personal commitment to the greater good – commit to a 12-month virtual leadership program.

The leadership program – which includes a voyage to Antarctica – is designed to enhance the leadership, strategic and visibility skills of participants, as well as an understanding of and connection to science and collaboration.

The inaugural Homeward Bound voyage took place in 2016 and almost 600 women, representing over 50 nationalities, have so far participated in the initiative. The eighth year of the Homeward Bound program commences in May.

NOTE: This announcement uses the self–reported gender pronouns provided by the participants, including the gender–neutral pronouns zie/hir.