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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women
    The Honourable Karen Struthers

    Indigenous scientist wins statewide award

    Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women
    The Honourable Karen Struthers

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Indigenous scientist wins statewide award

    An Indigenous scientist from Brisbane has been awarded for her outstanding contribution to supporting and encouraging other Indigenous women into science, engineering and technology.

    Minister for Women Karen Struthers presented the Our Women, Our State Awards during a ceremony in Brisbane.

    Associate Professor Gail Garvey from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research was named winner of the Promoting Indigenous Women Award.

    “Successful Indigenous women like Gail lead by example and inspire girls and other women who might otherwise not have considered a non-traditional career such as science.

    “It is wonderful to see women with such a passion not only excelling in their own careers, but offering their time and energy to support others to get involved.”

    In 2007, women made up 44 per cent of employees in full-time science-based occupations in Queensland, up from 25 per cent a decade earlier.

    “While this is encouraging, I urge other women – and particularly Indigenous women – to explore the many different opportunities the science profession has to offer,” Ms Struthers said.

    The Our Women, Our State Awards were presented across eight categories recognising and rewarding Queensland girls and women who have made positive contributions to advancing women in traditionally male-dominated industries.

    Gail, who was selected from a highly competitive field of nominees and finalists from across the State, received $3000 in prize money, a trophy and certificate.

    The Promoting Indigenous Women Award was sponsored by the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads.

    Two other Queensland women were also recognised in the Promoting Indigenous Women Award category. They are:

    ·Highly commended – Elisabeth Laguerre of Acacia Ridge, Brisbane

    ·Encouragement certificate – Patricia Rankin of Woorabinda.

    “I congratulate these women for their time, energy and commitment to shaping the future of tomorrow’s Queensland by encouraging Indigenous women into science, engineering and technology,” Ms Struthers said.

    “Apart from providing a very public opportunity to say thank you, these awards promote the winners as role models to inspire other girls and women to pursue their ambitions, regardless of any pre-conceived stereotypes and cultural barriers.

    “They demonstrate how women can lead the way in making tomorrow’s Queensland a fairer and smarter State, by supporting more women to study and work in non-traditional careers.

    “The awards also help to boost employer and industry awareness about the knowledge, skills and new perspectives women can bring to these industries.”

    The Our Women, Our State Awards complement the Bligh Government’s Toward Q2 ambitions for a smarter Queensland by encouraging more women to attain trade, training or tertiary qualifications.

    For more information about the Our Women, Our State Awards, visit the Office for Women’s website at or phone Women’s Infolink on 1800 177 577.

    Media Inquiries: Minister’s Office 3235 4286


    Promoting Indigenous Women Award

    Associate Professor Gail Garvey of Herston, Brisbane

    Associate Professor Gail Garvey is Head of Indigenous Health Research at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR).

    Gail has led the development of a “Spotlighting Careers in Indigenous Health and Science” high school program which provides a unique opportunity for Indigenous students from across Queensland to explore science and aspire to a career in science and research.

    With more than 80 per cent of the participants being female, the program provides a ‘hands on’, ‘real science experience’ for Indigenous girls who often come from remote communities where access to these opportunities is not available.

    In addition to leading this successful program, Gail’s commitment to the advancement of Indigenous women in science is displayed in the Cadetships in Science program she designed to create laboratory positions for Indigenous female undergraduate students within QIMR.

    As a successful Indigenous scientist in her own right, Gail is an inspirational role model who has provided direct mentorship and encouragement to numerous Indigenous female science graduates and cadets.

    She is also committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by leading the development of research projects focused specifically on Indigenous health.

    Gail can be contacted on 07 3845 3576 or 0422 678 840.