Competition calls for recognition of women in STEM

Published Thursday, 29 December, 2016 at 02:00 PM

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Women pioneering in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields will be recognised through a national competition. 

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the 2017 Queensland Women in STEM competition, which opens today, recognises women paving the way in the STEM environment whose work has a significant impact on Queensland.

“Queensland boasts many extraordinary women in STEM; to name just a few world-leading drone business woman Dr Catherine Ball, Associate Professor Mia Woodruff who’s making 3D body parts a reality, and Associate Professor Dimity Dornan AO who is helping deaf children speak,” Ms Enoch said.

“We encourage other women who aspire to achieve great things in STEM to be part of this competition.

“We have many inspiring women working in STEM careers and this is a chance to celebrate their extraordinary talent, increase the awareness and understanding of the great science taking place in Queensland,” she said.

The 2017 Queensland Women in STEM competition has two categories, the Jury Award of $5000 where a panel of judges will nominate the winner and a People’s Choice Award of $5000, with the winner chosen by the public.

Ms Enoch said last year’s Women in STEM People’s Choice Award and Jury Choice winner Dr Shyuan Ngo was an example of the high calibre of entrants in the competition in previous years. Dr Ngo will be a panellist this year.

“Dr Ngo is a perfect example of how someone can use this competition as a platform to greater things,” she said.

“Dr Ngo is involved in Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research and works with The University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane and Womens’ Hospital in Brisbane.

“In August I announced Dr Ngo as a 2016 Queensland Tall Poppy Award winner where she was recognised for excellence in science and communicating science.”

Ms Enoch announced the national competition in partnership with Minister for Communities, Women and Youth Shannon Fentiman and new Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Suzanne Miller, who took over the role from Dr Geoff Garrett this week.

Minister Fentiman said it was vital women working in STEM industries were valued and recognised for their contributions.

“Girls and women represent untapped talent and the recognition they receive is testament to the marvellous work women are doing in laboratories, classrooms and in the field,” she said.

“We need to continue to celebrate women and encourage more girls and young women to take up careers in STEM fields.”

Queensland’s first female Chief Scientist Professor Miller, who also holds the position of Queensland Museum Network CEO and Director, said all women working in STEM were eligible to enter the Women in STEM competition.

“Passionate and dedicated women have long made meaningful contributions to our world through science, technology, engineering and maths,” Professor Miller said.

“I am looking forward to celebrating some of our top STEM pioneers, and in doing so, I hope they will inspire future generations of Queenslanders.”

Recipients will be announced in March 2017 during World Science Festival Brisbane. 

Applications close at 5pm 17 February and can be submitted online via Thinkable

Media contact: Daniel Lato 0438 830 201