STEM Ambassador Program

aerial view of Parliament

The STEM Ambassador Program is an initiative born from the success of Science meets Parliament.

STA has worked for almost 20 years to connect Parliamentarians with leaders in a range of scientific and technological disciplines. This Program will establish an enduring impact by connecting STEM professionals with Federal decision makers over a period of 12 months.

STA advocates for evidence-based, science-informed policy creation - and the STEM Ambassador Program will help us achieve this.

Our 2018/19 STEM Ambassadors and their matched Parliamentarians are:

Dr Robert Acres – Industry Support & Outreach Scientist at ANSTO
Mr Julian Hill, Member for Bruce
Dr Bryony Horton – Senior Scientist at the Office of Environment and Heritage
Hon Luke Hartsuyker, Member for Cowper
Sarah Chapman – Head of Department – Science at the Department of Education Queensland
Ms Cathy O'Toole, Member for Herbert
Candice Raeburn – Design Summit Officer at Engineers Without Borders
Mr Peter Khalil, Member for Wills
Dr Kenneth Silburn – Head Teacher – Science at Casula High School, NSW Department of Education
Dr Mike Freelander member for Macarthur
Dr Simon Mutch – Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne
Mr Tim Watts, Member for Gellibrand
Dr Peter Howley – Associate Professor of Statistics in the Faculty of Science at the University of Newcastle
Hon Joel Fitzgibbon, Member for Hunter
Dr Charity Mundava – Spatial Scientist at WaterNSW
Ms Julie Owens, Member for Parramatta
Professor Helen Blanchard – Professor in Structural Biology at Griffith University
Hon Karen Andrews, Member for McPherson

What the program involves:


Each participant will be expected to attend and participate in four 1-hour workshops;

  • Introduction & speaking to politicians (August 2018)
  • Establishing and maintaining a network (September 2018)
  • National science policy and politics (October 2018)
  • Social and traditional media training (November 2018)

Participants will be required to organise and complete a series of five meetings with their assigned Parliamentarian.

The meetings will include an introductory meeting to start, a series of other catch ups, and a site/lab visit for the Parliamentarian.


Program participants may be expected to participate in media opportunities on an ad-hoc basis. Opportunities may include:

  • Mainstream media interviews (including traditional news media, TV and radio talk shows; magazines; online news sites);
  • Social media activity (including twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin, blogs);
  • Marketing opportunities generated by Science and Technology Australia, its members and partners;
  • Speaking at public, corporate or Government events

Program Alumni

At the conclusion of the 12-month program participants will be provided with support materials and advice to enable them to continue to grow their role as a STEM Ambassador.

There will be opportunities to connect with the next intake of Ambassadors, and it is expected that regular events will be held to coincide with Science meets Parliament.

We hope participants will remain active in the policy process beyond the initial 12 months, and STA will continue to provide support to alumni following their completion of the program.


If you have any enquiries about the program please contact:

Peter Derbyshire, Policy and Projects Officer

02 6257 2891 -