Following a lack of support for science and technology in the 1980s, a group of scientific bodies including the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Institute of Physics, the Australian Computer Society and others came together to form FASTS.
Originally known as the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), the organisation was established in 1985 to advocate the values and benefits of science to government and industry.
The organisation became Science & Technology Australia in 2011 to better reflect the broader and growing nature of its membership.
Since it was established, STA has been a key player in Australian STEM. We have been:
- instrumental in the establishment of the role of Australia's Chief Scientist;
- a major player in the formation of the Prime Minister’s Science and Engineering Council, which was the pre-cursor to the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) and the Commonwealth Science Council;
- a catalyst for the hands-on primary school science education program, Primary Connections - an idea born from STA's national forum on mathematics and science education.
The inaugural Executive Director was Dr David Widdup, who was well regarded for his political engagement and gay-rights activism. His work in promoting the Campaign Against Moral Persecution, or CAMP, had helped him establish productive relationships with key members of Parliament and the media.
The founding of FASTS and Dr Widdup’s contributions were written about by former Vice-President Jan Thomas, and can be read here.
The story of STA
Advocating for science and technology since 1985
Our inaugural Executive Director
Dr David Widdup