Board of Directors

Women in STEMM Australia is operated by a Board of nine Directors. The two co-founders co-chair the Board. Four Directors must stand for re-election every second year. An Executive of the Board comprises the two Co-Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board of Directors meets three times each year.

Co-Chairs and Directors (Co-Founders)

bio-182Ms Michelle Gallaher is Co-Founder and Creative Director, The Social Science and Co-Founder, Creative Director, Media Liaison, Women in STEMM Australia.

LinkedIn: Ms Michelle Gallaher 

Twitter: @StartupShelley @womensciaust


Dr Madhu Bhaskaran, RMIT University.Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran co-leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University. She is also the Associate Dean for Higher Degrees by Research at the School of Engineering. She has won several awards and fellowships for her research including competitive Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2014) and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (2016-2018). She has also won a Victoria Fellowship and has been named as one of Top 10 Innovators under 35 for Asia (MIT Technology Review 2016). A staunch advocate for women in science, Madhu is a co-founder of the Women Researchers’ Network at RMIT University. In 2017 she was recognised with the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher and also named as one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia. Her research interests include functional oxide thin films, wearable technologies and stretchable electronics.

Sarah Chapman cropMs Sarah Chapman is Head of Department at the Department of Education and Training (Queensland). She graduated from the James Cook University (JCU) with a Bachelor of Science (Honours Class 1) in 1999 and a Bachelor of Education in 2004. Sarah has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics project which aims to develop specific skills and an interest in science in middle school students. This project has promoted teacher confidence in teaching science and improved school links with the community and JCU, and has facilitated an easier transition for students from primary to secondary school. Sarah was a Teacher Finalist in the 2013 BHP Billiton Science & Engineering Awards and her work has been recognised with an Australian Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009, and the prestigious 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. Sarah wants to see greater diversity in science and is keen to encourage all of her students, girls and boys, to participate. She was recently awarded one of two inaugural Barbara Cail STEM Fellowships announced by the Federal Government’s Office for Women and Chief Executive Women (CEW). This award enabled Sarah to visit international programs engaging girls in STEM with Women in STEMM Australia and CEW. Twitter: @chapmansar

Dr Annabella Newton, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick.Dr Annabella Newton is a Patent Attorney in Chemistry and Life Sciences with Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick where she prosecutes patent applications for multinational companies in Australia and overseas. During her research career in the UK and Australia, her work was published in several high-impact journals. She is a web-writer for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry journal. Annabella is Past-President of the RACI’s Women in Chemistry group and remains an active member. Twitter: @bellatronic

maia healthhack croppedDr Maia Sauren is often preoccupied with science education, diversity in technical fields, open information, and how emerging software interacts with science and biotechnology. Maia is co-chair of Open Knowledge Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals and organisations share data, information and resources. She has been heavily involved in forming the Open Knowledge community in Melbourne and beyond. In 2013, Maia started HealthHack, a weekend hackathon bridging the gap between scientists and software technologists, that has since grown into a national annual event. Maia has also been an executive committee member of Australian Science Communicators, and has been involved in science communication in various media. Her PhD from RMIT University was determining the effect of anatomic variations on radiofrequency compliance of mobile phones. Maia is a Business Analyst for ThoughtWorks, an international software consultancy. Most recently she was part of an international team customising an open source medical records system for use on tablets, as part of the Ebola response in Sierra Leone. Twitter @sauramaia

emmaDr Emma Burrows is a Research Officer at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Her research utilises animal models to investigate how genes and environment interact to produce phenotypic changes relevant to autism spectrum disorder. Her goal is to help improve treatments for major psychiatric illnesses through high quality basic neuropsychiatric research. Emma believes that breakthroughs in this field will be made by interdisciplinary teams embracing novel technologies, and intends to lead such a team in the future. Emma is an ambitious scientist who has won a prestigious Victoria Fellowship and more recently, a Young Researcher Exchange Award from the Australasian Neuroscience Society and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies. Emma is Co-Chair of the Florey’s Committee for Equality in Science and a founding executive member of the Women in Science Parkville Precinct. Twitter: @embws

Sally MaleDr Sally Male is an Engineer and researcher at The University of Western Australia (UWA). She has a bachelor of engineering with honours in control and communications, and a PhD on competencies required by engineers. She has taught electrical engineering at UWA, and at Curtin University where she also managed the Women in Computing and Engineering Project. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at UWA, paid from and leading her own competitive grants. Sally’s research interests are curriculum development, development of capabilities for engineering practice, and gender inclusivity. Sally collaborates with academics, students, industry, Engineers Australia, and the Australian Council of Engineering Deans. She enjoys the honour and responsibilities of being a Fellow, Engineers Australia; Governance Board Member, Engineering Institute of Technology; Editorial Board Member, Australasian Journal of Engineering Education; Advisory Council Member, Women in Oil and Gas – Perth (WIOG); Governing Board Member, Research in Engineering Education Network; and Member, UWA ATHENA SWAN Self-Assessment Team. Sally has also served as a Committee Member of the Engineers Australia Western Australian and National Women in Engineering Committees, Women in Science Enquiry Network (recently merged with Women in STEMM Australia), Graduate Women WA, and UWA Centenary Trust for Women.

Dr Justin Bourke completed a consecutive science (1999) and biomedical engineering (2002) degree program at Monash University, which included a teaching placement in an Electronics Design class at Glen Waverley Secondary College. It was here that Justin was struck by the gender imbalance in engineering-type elective classes that feed into undergraduate STEMM courses. In 2003, Justin joined the Monash Physiology Department to design hardware and software systems for neural electrophysiology, through which he developed a keen interest in training students in various computer programming languages. With assistance from an NHMRC Dora Lush Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship, Justin completed a PhD in biomaterial-based neural tissue engineering in 2014. Justin’s current role at St Vincent’s Hospital and Melbourne University is within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and involves design of functional synthetic biosystems for research into neural and neuromuscular disorders. Justin was on the Communications Committee for this ARC Centre for 2016, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the same ARC Centre for 2017. As part of the organising committee for the 2016 early career mentoring forum for the centre, Justin pushed for discussions on the SAGE Pilot and gender equity in research. The interest in these discussions from PhD and post-doctoral level researchers was a driving force behind Justin becoming more engaged in gender equity programs. Twitter: @DrJustinBourke


Charles Gray_profileCharles Gray changed her name because it felt like no-one believed, as a girl, she could play rhythm-section jazz. She is a PhD candidate in mathematics at La Trobe University (supervised by Associate Professor Luke Prendergast and Dr Agus Salim). She is secretary of the Victorian branch of the Statistical Society of Australia and treasurer of Supporting Women in Science. Charles is also the Student Affiliate with Women in STEMM Australia. Twitter: @cantabile


Shokoufeh MDr Shokoufeh Malekjani is a metallurgical engineer and founder of Diverse Village. Shokoufeh completed her BSc and MSc in Iran majoring in metallurgy before moving to Australia to do a PhD and postdoctoral fellowship. It was through her journey in a white male-dominated environment where she discovered the faulty infrastructure being unable to fit in people who are different from prevailing culture and that discovery has formed the foundation for Diverse Village with a core mission to promote diversity. Diverse Village is a space for digital savvy and professional diverse women to celebrate their authenticity and explore empowerment. Shokoufeh is an Affiliate with Women in STEMM Australia. Being an engineer and scientist, she has a deeply rooted passion to work with and for women in engineering in particular, and in STEMM in general. Her goal is to empower, educate and inspire. Twitter: @shokoufehmalek


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