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Empowering Women in STEMM: Julianna's Antarctic Journey

A project by: Julianna Kadar


WE RAISED $10,053

from 60 donors

This project received pledges on Fri 28 Feb 2020
Julianna is a shark scientist fundraising to participate in the Homeward Bound leadership program


I am thrilled and excited to share that I've been accepted to take a place in the Homeward Bound Program this year. This is a yearlong leadership program that culminates in a voyage to Antarctica at the end of 2020. I plan to travel there with 80 women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math & medicine) who are dedicated to making positive changes in the world. The Homeward Bound program is working to build a network of 1,000 women in STEMM over ten years and I am fundraising to be a part of the 5th cohort of women who will participate in this unique program. 

Your story

Homeward Bound is a ground-breaking leadership, strategic, science and outreach program for women. The initiative aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet. All information about the program can be found here: https://homewardboundprojects.com.au/about/

Next year, I'm graduating with my PhD in Biological Science and I've been given the chance of a lifetime to join this incredible group of women. This will give me the chance to train myself to lead and empower diverse STEMM communities and make positive change in the world. This is an integral part in my development to understanding how I can employ leadership to make global partnerships that could meaningfully impact my local community and the larger world. Lots of you already contribute to important organisations and political campaigns. You are probably and rightfully asking yourself, why this cause? Here is what I can say:

  • Your support has gotten me to where I am today. The emotional and physical support of family and friends and the tax dollars supporting my scholarship and research grants have let me do the work I love doing, mentor those around me, and fight for the environment.
  • I will pay this forward. Everything I learn I will contribute back to our community through teaching, volunteering and researching to the betterment of the world around us.
  • We have to elevate those who are not represented and use dollars for progress. This is an opportunity to elevate people and messages that are working hard to improve the world around us. Now more than ever, we need evidence-based thinking and policy to lead the way. You can help put me on a world stage to help spread these messages. 

THANK YOU for your time and consideration of these efforts. 


I am a PhD student at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia using tags that function like Fitbits to study the movements and behaviour of a small species of shark native to Australia. I grew up in southern California and spent my summers in Hungary with my family in Budapest. I have always loved animals and the ocean and now I get to combine the two things I love most in my work. 

I regularly speak to schools, clubs, government organisations and industry about the ocean, the animals within it and how we use science to learn about the world around us and protect it. 

I was the lead researcher for a 3-year research project at Taronga Zoo in Sydney which is working to find out the main factors that impact shark activity level.

I am active in my field and university campus, mentoring students and organising events that support diversity in the STEMM fields and spreading ideas that can change the world!

I know the year ahead will be one full of change and learning and I am beyond excited to embark on this Antarctic journey and share it with my friends, family and community. Please consider donating and sharing this page to help me participate in the program!

Where will the money go?

  • The total cost of the yearlong leadership program, including the 21-day expedition to Antarctica is approximately $29,000 USD per participant. Nearly $12,000 USD is subsidised via in-kind donations (i.e. time, resources, cold weather gear, etc.) 
  • This means individual participants are responsible for $17,000 USD ($25,000 AUD) plus travel and insurance costs to and from Argentina.  
  • If I surpass the total, I will donate any extra funds to the Homeward Bound Scholarship fund to help women from developing nations attend this amazing program!
  • My first goal is to fundraise $10,000 by the end of February 2020. This is because I'll be running four short fundraising campaigns throughout the year to reach the total target amount and letting you know how I do along the way!


  • We have some amazing rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out! If you are viewing this site on a mobile device, you will be able to see the rewards once you select 'Sponsor.'

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Twitter: @jpkadar

Instagram: @jpkadar



More about homeward bound

Launched in 2016, Homeward Bound gathered the first 76 women from around the world, all with science backgrounds, to undertake a yearlong state-of-the-art program to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities, using science to build conviction around the importance of their voices. In December 2016, the program culminated in the largest-ever female expedition to Antarctica with a focus on women leadership and the state of the world.

Project Objectives

  • To elevate each participant’s leadership capabilities
  • To refine participants’ skills to design and execute strategy and to create plans for future collaborations as women working towards a sustainable future
  • To contribute to and elevate the broader societal conversation about the role of women in leading the world toward a more sustainable future


  • The 12-month virtual leadership program includes diagnostic testing, one-on-one coaching sessions, and seminars
  • We are at sea for approximately 3 weeks, setting sail from Ushuaia, Argentina in November 2020
  • State-of-the-art leadership, strategic, science and visibility training will be delivered on board by Kit Jackson, Fabian Dattner, Justine Shaw, Mary-Anne Lea, Julia May, Sarah Anderson and other experts in their fields

Why Women?

  • Globally, women are underrepresented in leadership positions and change has been incredibly slow, despite increasing dialogue and system changes
  • By giving these women leadership and strategic skills, a sound understanding of the science, and a strong, purposefully developed network they will be able to impact policy and decisions towards a sustainable future

Why Antarctica?

  • Regions of Antarctica are currently being affected by climate change and are experiencing some of the worst warming effects on the planet
  • The continent is iconic as a wild, beautiful and unique environment that has captured the imagination of many leaders in the past
  • By taking this journey together the experience will create strong bonds, inspire action and lead to extraordinary collaborations between the women

Check out my research

Help ME succeed!

  • You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support it – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.