Co-Chair and Co-Founder
Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea is Executive Director of the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She has over 15 years of experience leading translational medical research programs in the United States and Australia, and her work has been internationally recognised with numerous awards. Strongly committed to empowering early career researchers, Marguerite mentors students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, and has developed graduate mentoring programs in the US. She was the founding Chair of the Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum with the Australian Academy of Science, and is currently a member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity Expert Advisory Group, Chair of the Australian Science and Innovation Forum, and Co-Founder and CEO of Women in STEMM Australia. A strong advocate for science and innovation, Marguerite communicates regularly via social and national media, and in 2013 won an Australian Leadership Award. Twitter: @MVEG001 @womensciaust
Co-Chair and Co-Founder
Ms Michelle Gallaher is Co-Founder and Creative Director at The Social Science. Her expertise encompasses healthcare and biotechnology having worked in biotech start-ups, major teaching hospitals, research organisations and pharmaceutical companies throughout her 20+ year career. As former CEO of the BioMelbourne Network, Michelle developed an international professional network. Passionate about small business and entrepreneurship, Michelle is an influential advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). Michelle is also a TEDx Melbourne alumni, an avid blogger and tweeter, and regularly speaks on innovation in Australia and women in leadership. She is Co-Founder and Creative Director of Women in STEMM Australia and is keen to encourage more women in STEMM to become entrepreneurs and innovators. Twitter: @StartupShelley @womensciaust
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. Her research interests include functional oxide thin films and flexible electronics. 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 founding member of the steering committee for the Women Researchers’ Network at RMIT University. Her research interests include functional oxide thin films and flexible electronics.
Ms 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 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
Dr 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
Dr 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
Dr 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 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.
Dr Shokoufeh Malekjani is a Research Fellow at Deakin University. She is investigating the stress corrosion cracking observed in the Australian Gas Pipelines. Shokoufeh completed her BSc and MSc in Iran majoring in metallurgy before moving to Australia to do a PhD. She researched the development of superstrong metals (nanostructured metals) for applications in aerospace, automotive and medical applications during her PhD and postdoc. Her research currently explores the origin of stress corrosion cracking in the gas pipelines aiming to develop approaches and strategies to predict and prevent catastrophic failure of pipelines. As an engineer, her motto is: “The only impossible is impossibility”. She strongly believes in positive mindset and trusts her abilities when it comes to problem solving. She is passionate about cultural diversity and believes that her journey as a woman of diverse background in STEMM has provided her with the right tools to assist other women of diverse backgrounds and she aims to lead more initiatives to support this group of girls and women in the future. Twitter: @shokoufehmalek
Dr Misty Jenkins is a Laboratory Head and cellular immunologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Misty has had a long standing interest in cytotoxic lymphocyte biology and has spent the past ten years investigating how killer lymphocytes acquire the ability to kill cancer cells, and how they deliver the lethal hit. She is funded by a New Investigator project grant from NHMRC, and a prestigious NHMRC Career Development Fellowship, where she is investigating cancer and inflammation. She has been awarded 15 awards for her work, including the L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship for Australia (2013) and the 2015 Tall Poppy of the year. Misty is a passionate, engaging public speaker involved with various programs aimed at increasing young people’s engagement in science and education, particularly Indigenous students. Misty provides leadership on a number of boards including the board of directors for the Aurora Education Foundation (which supports indigenous students to excel at school and into their university studies), the governing board and scientific advisory panel for the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics (NCIG) at Australian National University in Canberra, and the Federal government’s expert working group for “Indigenous engagement in the sciences” which is helping shape public policy. Misty aims to increase support and visibility of Indigenous girls and women in STEMM and advises Women in STEMM Australia in this area.
Dr Jennifer de Vries is a Senior Academic Fellow: Organisational Development in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, and combines this with her work as a gender strategy consultant and public speaker (www.jendevries.com). Jen’s dual roles as academic and practitioner contribute to her unique expertise in the area of gender equality and transformative organisational change, and her work is internationally acknowledged with clients in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Europe. Jen is the author of Mentoring for Change, a report commissioned by the LH Martin Institute, designed to build sector wide capacity in the delivery of mentoring programs. She undertook commissioned research examining gender equity within a STEM Faculty in an Australian university, Optimising Faculty Performance: Maximising the potential of academic women (with P.Todd). Jen’s current research interests include examining the role of sponsorship practices (as distinct from mentoring) in academic and research careers, and the ways in which sponsorship and mentoring can contribute to and/or disrupt the gendered status quo. Jen is keenly engaged with Athena SWAN on a number of fronts; she has worked with several UK universities in capacity building to support their silver submissions, and is a self-assessment team member at University of Melbourne. She is passionate about contributing her expertise wherever possible to ensure that the current impetus provided by Athena SWAN transforms the higher education sector. As a gender expert, Jen advises Women in STEMM Australia in the course of developing research projects and policy submissions. Twitter: @drjendevries