STEM prizes to help women researchers branch out
Published Friday, 11 March, 2016 at 03:40 PM
Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
Three of Queensland’s leading women scientists have been recognised for their work at the prestigious World Science Festival Brisbane today.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman today announced the recipients of the inaugural Women in STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – competition.
The awards were presented at the Bucking the sySTEM: The Myth of Merit event, designed to bring together men and women to champion women in STEM and held as part of Queensland Women’s Week and the World Science Festival Brisbane.
Minister Enoch said the Women in STEM competition sought to encourage innovation and collaboration between women engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics research.
“Queensland’s women scientists are at the cutting edge of breakthroughs and discoveries that make a difference to the well-being of individuals and communities locally, nationally and globally,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Women in STEM competition recognises these achievements and will help to raise the profile of women scientists and their work.”
Ms Enoch said she was delighted to award the Women in STEM Jury Choice $5000 prize between three recipients.
“With more than 50 high-calibre entries from across Australia, the panel had a difficult time deciding a winner,” she said.
“The panel made the decision to split the award between Dr Shyuan Ngo, from the University of Queensland, Professor Josephine Forbes, from the Mater Research Institute, and Dr Linda Pfeiffer, from the Central Queensland University.
“Their research spans across motor neurone disease, diabetes and engaging the community in science respectively – all high on the agenda for Queensland.”
Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman presented the Women in Stem People’s Choice $5000 prize to Dr Shyuan Ngo, the Scott Sullivan Motor Neurone Disease Research Fellow at the University of Queensland.
Minister Fentiman said it was vital that more girls and young women were encouraged to take up careers in STEM.
“We need to better recognise that women’s contribution to our economy produces fairer societies and growth in new sectors, and getting women involved in non-traditional fields is a large part of that,” she said.
The competition is supported by the World Science Festival Brisbane, the Queensland Government’s Office of the Chief Scientist and Office for Women.
Media contacts: Daniel Lato (Minister Enoch) 0438 830 201
Alex Purnell (Minister Fentiman) 0437 336 232