FROM the bright blue skies to the reflections of the water, Melinda Fitzgerald could hardly believe the landscapes and scenery of Antarctica.
The Salter Point resident – an associate professor at UWA – took part in Homeward Bound, which included a trip to one of the most surreal places on Earth for 21 days in December.
“We arrived at Ushuaia, Argentina, on December 2 and then travelled to Antarctica before arriving back in South America on December 21 and making it back to Australia on December 24,” she said.
“We spent half of each day talking about leadership and communication in our personal and professional lives on the ship and then the other half we landed on Antarctica and explored.
“We went on zodiac cruises and saw penguins, seals, whales and the incredible colours.
“I felt incredibly fortunate. Every day was different from the last and the weather was quite kind to us; at the coldest it was -3C and it got up to 5C.
“I felt so privileged to see the glaciers, make friendships with people from around the world and have snowball fights.”
Mrs Fitzgerald said meeting people from different countries and learning about their science was amazing.
“Going into it you knew the stereotypes about people from certain countries but we were encouraged to interact and we found out we have a lot in common,” she said.
“Personally, I feel strongly that women find difficulties in rising through the ranks in science and so at UWA I began to develop programs to address this.”