Five women from across the ANU have visited Antarctica as part of the inaugural Homeward Bound leadership expedition to Antarctica.
Associate Professor Ida Kubiszewski from the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy said Antarctica's wildlife and scale was beyond her imagination.
"Nothing can prepare you for what you'll experience in Antarctica. It's spectacular," she said.
"We landed on Deception Island and hiked up the hill and everywhere you looked there were penguins."
The 20 day expedition to Antarctica was part of a year-long leadership program involving 76 women from around the world and from a range of disciplines and levels.
Each day the participants would go on shore for half the day if wind, sea ice, temperatures, currents, tides, and other environmental factors would allow. The other half of the day was spent in a leadership program.
"The Homeward Bound participants were a group of amazing women ranging from students to those already leaders in their field," she said.
"Experiencing Antarctica and expanding our leadership skills with those around us made it very special.
"The hope is that if we can empower women to get into leadership roles then we can find solutions for some of the global problems we currently face."
Dr Kubiszewski said she has created a great network through Homeward Bound and friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime.
ANU participants included College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Professor Elanor Huntington, Associate Professor Ida Kubiszewski, Professor Robyn Lucas, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Dr Merryn McKinnon from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and PhD Candidate Nina McLean from the Research School of Biology.