What a massive Day 4 at Science meets Parliament 2022!
In case you blinked, here are some of the key highlights from today.
The day kicked off with Australian Ambassador to the United States, Arthur Sindodinos AO. A long supporter of scientific and technological innovation, Arthur spoke of the impressive breadth of scientific talent in Australia. He is “excited for young scientists to explore opportunities overseas”, and also acknowledged that “the best science is possible when we have as many people as we can in the tent.”
Changing gears, STA CEO Misha Schubert demonstrated how your writing could (and should) spark joy. Sponsored by the Department of Defence, the How to Marie Kondo your writing workshop demonstrated how you can improve your writing and increase impact.
In a webinar SmP2022 partners ACIAR described their work as, “strongly orientated to public good impact,” by sustainability managing food security. They also exemplified how to advance gender equity and empowerment through the journey of two project leads, Helen Wallace and Amy Diedrich. Helen, who has spent the last 15 years with the ACIAR, conceded that it has given,”her research a chance to make a real impact especially on smallholder women.” Amy paid respect to the ‘women in country’ whose guidance enabled her to succeed in her leadership role.
Grace Chung, Engineering Site Lead at Google Australia, told us science and technology is, “integral to our way of life.”, and Google expects to deepen and broaden its connection in our country.
The Parliamentary Forum, sponsored by the ARC Centre for Excellence in Exciton Science and CropLife Australia, was our first opportunity to hear directly from Parliamentarians.
Dr Katie Allen MP inspired us to get on the front page of politicians’ minds by keeping it simple, solutions-based and by being respectfully persistent. Afterall “If it’s a good idea it will survive.”
Building off this point, Dr Mike Freelander MP encouraged our STEM community to be memorable through enthusiasm whilst also acknowledging that the “wheels of policy turn slowly.”
Senator Dorinda Cox reminded us of the connection between science and caring for Country. She also implored us to give parliamentarians “some low hanging fruit – things we can suggest, particularly if it’s not our portfolio.”
Superstar of STEM Dr Kalinda Griffiths chaired the powerful session on Indigenous STEM.
Andrew Dowling Ngarluma man and Managing Director of Winyama, generously shared his approach to overcoming systemic barriers including practising confidence, taking opportunities and believing that good things will happen.
Through his work reviving knowledge from landscapes Tagalaka man, Victor Steffensen took us on a journey through Indigenous resilience. “The biggest resilience of all is happiness. We can be happy when sticking to the country, sticking to the land and sticking to the way knowledge has always been shared and which is practical not theoretical.”
Dr Leah Talbot, descendant of the Kuku Yalanji People supports Indigenous communities to maintain traditional environmental management in Queensland She is motivated by a vision of transformational change. She also discussed the impact developing more and different types of support systems could have on young Indigenous STEM professionals.
Karlie Noon, Gamilaraay Astronomer and Superstar of STEM, walked us through her journey to discover the connection between cosmology and Indigenus beliefs. She expressed her passion for making her field more accessible to Indigenous students. “Indigenous Knowledge is hope.”
Professor Brownyn Fox, CSIRO’s Chief Scientist prompted delegates to consider diversity throughout all planning and decision making, highlighting how we “need to make sure we have gender and international diversity around the table”.
Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist reminded delegates that “there are so many areas of public policy, where science is a fundamental part of decision making”, and that building a team to add, and complement your own skills, is necessary to achieve goals outside of your comfort zone.
Dr Daniel Walker, Chief Scientist at AICAR highlighted the importance of discipline collaboration: “Engaging across a variety of stakeholders is how we deliver our value and measure our success”.
Jane MacMaster, Chief Engineer at Engineers Australia emphasised the importance of learning and adapting as plans and objectives change, and the necessity of flexibility, particularly in the current climate. She shared brilliant advice regarding teams, stating that “being an effective leader is being able to observe and learn along the way, to dream up solutions for new problems”.
The second-last day of our Science meets Parliament 2022 program was fabulous!