Industry and Science Minister the Hon Ed Husic MP prepared the following speech to formally open Science Meets Parliament 2023.
I begin by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land on which Canberra is built, and pay my respects to Elders both past and present.
I pay my respects to First Nations scientists, researchers and science communicators who are watching today. As you know, I’m passionate about elevating First Nations science and knowledge in this portfolio.
This is the 23rd Science Meets Parliament – the first one was in 1999 – and what a special event it is. I congratulate Science & Technology Australia and all involved in organising it.
Even though we can’t meet in person today I’m delighted to officially open the event for the first time as Minister. I will see many of you here in Canberra on March 22.
Once a year, Science Meets Parliament crowds the corridors of power in Canberra with hundreds of inspiring scientists and technologists. These are people who dedicate their lives to pushing out the boundaries of human knowledge. And we’re grateful for your work.
This event connects the worlds of science and technology with our elected representatives – and reminds us all about the importance of STEM.
…. and it puts science on the radar of Parliament in a powerful way.
At last year’s event, I got to learn more about the latest advances in quantum, biotechnology, neuroscience and drug development for diabetes. And I got to talk about how we can turn even more of our great Australian science into jobs.
Giving more Australians from all sections of our society the opportunity to get involved in science will help us fill skills shortages and is part of maximising the human potential of our nation.
That’s why I have prioritised work to centre science in government decision-making, and widen our pool of talented people entering and flourishing in STEM careers.
Two that I want to mention briefly here today:
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley is leading work to revitalise Australia’s science and research priorities and National Science Statement.
And Sally-Ann Williams of Cicada Innovations is leading the Government’s independent Diversity in STEM review.
I encourage you to be part of these conversations.
We want to ensure the next generation of scientists have the skills to solve tomorrow’s problems.
I trust you all benefit from Science Meets Parliament and wish you success in your future endeavours.