New board members elected to Science & Technology Australia

Wednesday, 04 October, 2017

Science & Technology Australia (STA) has elected three new leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to its board, in an effort to represent scientists and technologists working in a range of disciplines.

Representing the field of Medical and Cognitive Sciences is Professor Rebecca Ritchie, an experimental pharmacologist based at the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, where she leads the Heart Failure Pharmacology laboratory and serves as chair of the Science Faculty. She is a former chair of Policy and Medical and Cognitive Sciences Representative at STA.

Representing Aquatic Sciences is Dr Katherine Daffron, co-director of the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab at the University of New South Wales and deputy director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. She recently received a Young Tall Poppy Science Award for science excellence and community engagement.

Finally, science publisher and entrepreneur Kylie Ahern will serve on the board as a General Representative. Ahern has worked across mainstream and science publishing for over 20 years, having co-founded Cosmos magazine and acted as its CEO for 10 years, as well as serving on the boards of Publishers Australia and Cosmos Media. She is currently the CEO of strategic communications and content consultancy STEM Matters.

STA President Professor Jim Piper said the new board members will help STA work towards a stronger and better supported STEM sector, highlighting their extensive experience in a range of disciplines as being vital to the future of STA.

“STA has worked for more than 30 years to promote the value of science and technology in Australia, and we are energised and excited to welcome these impressive leaders to the STA team,” he said.

Professor Piper said that the board will work to ensure the more than 68,000 STEM professionals represented by the organisation enjoy secure employment and good working conditions to help Australia achieve world-leading STEM industry and research.

“We will work to make sure we maintain support for science and technology, and provide for it a strong and stable future in this country,” he said.

Following the election of the board members, nominations have now opened for the following positions on the STA Executive Committee:

  • Vice President (two-year appointment)
  • Treasurer (two-year appointment)
  • Early Career Representative (two-year appointment)
  • General Representative (one-year appointment)

Candidates must be financial members of an STA member society and receive written support from two other individuals who are themselves financial members of a member society. Successful candidates will join current committee members Emma Johnston (President), Darren Saunders (Secretary), Cathy Foley (Policy Chair), Alan Duffy (Early Career Representative) and Kylie Walker (CEO).

Nominations can be submitted here and are due by 6 November at 5 pm. The positions will be determined by vote at the STA Annual General Meeting in Sydney on 23 November.

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