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

    University team wins women’s award

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

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    University team wins women’s award

    A team of women from the University of Southern Queensland has been awarded for their outstanding contribution to supporting and encouraging other women into science, engineering and technology.

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

    The Go Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (Go WEST) project team, led by Dr Jacquie McDonald, was named the winner of the Public or Community Sector Award.

    “The Go WEST team leads by example and inspires rural and regional girls and women who might otherwise not have considered studying in non-traditional fields such as science, engineering and technology,” Ms Struthers said.

    “It is wonderful to see a group of like-minded women with such a passion not only excelling in their own careers, but coming together to offer their time and energy to support other women 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 young women from our regional and remote areas to explore the many different career opportunities that studying science, engineering or technology can lead to,” 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.

    The Go WEST team, which 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 Public or Community Sector Award was sponsored by the Queensland Government Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

    Three other women from across Queensland were also recognised in the Public or Community Sector Award category. They are:

    ·Highly commended – Dr Rose-Marie Thrupp and the Girls in the MIST project team from Central Queensland University, Bundaberg

    ·Highly commended – Professor Mary Garson from The University of Queensland, St Lucia

    ·Highly commended – Dr Carla Boehl from Townsville Water.

    “I congratulate these women for their time, energy and commitment to shaping the future of tomorrow’s Queensland by encouraging other 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.

    “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 www.women.qld.gov.au or phone Women’s Infolink on 1800 177 577.

    Media Inquiries: Minister’s Office 3235 4286

    WINNER PROFILE:

    Public or Community Sector Award

    Go Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (Go WEST) project team, University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Toowoomba

    The Go WEST project team formed in late 2007 after identifying that rural and regional women were significantly under-represented in higher education in the science, engineering and technology disciplines.

    The Go WEST team has conducted a range of activities to build better pathways for women and girls between schooling, further education, training and employment (including career breaks) in the science, engineering and technology fields.

    Under the leadership of Dr Jacquelin McDonald, Senior Lecturer and Learning and Teaching Designer, the Go WEST project team comprises:

    ·Lyn Brodie, Senior Lecturer, Engineering and Surveying

    ·Associate Professor Aileen Cater-Steel, Information Systems

    ·Maggie Fryer, Principal Manager, ICT Service Delivery

    ·Dr Birgit Loch, Senior Lecturer, Maths and Computing

    ·Petrea Redmond, Lecturer, Education

    ·Dr Shirley Reushle, Senior Lecturer, Australian Digital Futures Institute

    ·Sandy Sharman, Project Officer.

    Dr Jacquelin McDonald, Go WEST Project Leader, can be contacted on
    07 4631 2314 or 0402 722 246