A national celebration connects women professionals throughout the STEMM ecosystem

Women in STEMM Australia is excited to hold its inaugural National Symposium: Connecting Women in STEMM which will bring together over 200 women and men in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) from around Australia. Starting today at RMIT University’s Storey Hall, this meeting will share best practices and policies in academia and industry, as well as ground-breaking initiatives to foster an environment where more women in STEMM can lead and excel.

The inaugural Ruby Payne-Scott Keynote will honour the radio astronomer’s contribution to Australian science research and education and will be presented by Professor Sharon Bell, Chair of Women in STEMM Australia’s Expert Advisory Board. This prestigious Keynote recognises outstanding contributions by an individual that empowers women in STEMM.

Over the past decade Professor Bell has conducted research on gender equity in the Australian academy and with Professor Lyn Yates from the University of Melbourne, recently completed an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant on Women in the Scientific Research Workforce: Identifying and Sustaining the Diversity Advantage. Professor Bell is also a member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity initiative led by the Australian Academy of Science and the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Women in STEMM Australia also announces their first Women in STEMM Ambassador today – Dr Leonie Walsh who was Victoria’s first Lead Scientist. Dr Walsh is an outstanding advocate for early career researchers and women in STEMM across all professional sectors. Dr Walsh has accumulated more than 25 years of technology leadership experience in a broad range of industrial applications both locally and globally.

Dr Leonie Walsh

Dr Walsh says, “During my time as Lead Scientist it became clear to me that as a country we need to do a better job of attracting women into science careers and allowing the scientific talent we have to reach their full potential. It is imperative for our economy and society that we continue to focus on these key issue. I see my role as continuing to use my experience and networks to improve education on STEMM careers for women and help break down barriers limiting the development of our science talent pool from early career researchers to senior leaders in the STEMM community.”

Co-Founder Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, a researcher at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, says “Women in STEMM Australia has grown into a respected, inclusive professional network welcoming women in STEMM across the nation, regardless of their discipline or profession – everyone counts. Dr Walsh is an outstanding leader and role model who will strengthen and expand our network, making her an ideal inaugural Ambassador.”

Women in STEMM Australia’s National Symposium will connect ambitious young researchers with a wide range of high profile leaders in STEMM. Another important goal will be to engage with science teachers and students in schools – connecting girls with an interest in STEMM with women in STEMM. This will extend the network of women professionals across the science sector in Australia.

Co-Founder Michelle Gallaher, Creative Director of The Social Science, says “I’m thrilled to see women from all parts of the STEMM sector coming together – researchers, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, administrators, teachers and students. Our philosophy is ‘Pay It Forward’ and it is an inherent part of this meeting.”

Women in STEMM Australia thanks Visionary sponsors University of Newcastle, James Cook University and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science with the Australian Government for their generous support of this event.


Michelle Gallaher 0417-784-856 @startupshelley

Marguerite Evans-Galea 0488-438-001 @MVEG001

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