STEM Ambassadors set to work with local MPs

Monday, 09 March, 2020

STEM Ambassadors set to work with local MPs

Science & Technology Australia (STA) has announced 17 STEM Ambassadors, each of whom will work together with their local MP to help bridge the gap between science and government in Australia.

STA President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie said that the STEM Ambassador Program encourages the involvement of science in Australian politics and aims to put science and evidence-based policy on the national agenda. The STEM Ambassadors represent 17 different electorates across Australia and have been matched with MPs from across the country and the political spectrum who have expressed a desire to build stronger scientific networks.

“The STEM Ambassador Program is vital to forging relationships between science and parliament,” Assoc Prof Brownlie said.

“STA advocates for evidence-based, science-informed policy, and the STEM Ambassador Program helps to connect our national decision-makers with scientific experts who can give them direct access to research, data and evidence.”

Each Ambassador will meet regularly with their local MP to build associations between parliament and the broader STEM sector. It enables federal politicians to gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of STEM in Australia.

“Australia’s STEM professionals play an incredibly important role in shaping Australia’s health and wellbeing, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability,” Assoc Prof Brownlie said. “This program empowers our highly skilled STEM workforce to make positive change and use their work to help build better policy and shape Australia’s future.”

The STEM Ambassador Program builds on the successful 2019 pilot program and brings the total number of STA STEM Ambassadors to 24 across Australia. The latest cohort comes from a wide range of science, technology and engineering mathematics professions, representing a range of sectors, and is listed below.

  • Dr Kiri Beilby — Reproductive Biologist, Monash University. Electorate: Hotham. MP: Clare O’Neil.
  • Professor Rachel Burton — Plant Biologist, University of Adelaide/ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. Electorate: Mayo. MP: Rebekha Sharkie.
  • Susan Caldis — Geography Educator, PhD candidate, Macquarie University. Electorate: North Sydney. MP: Trent Zimmerman.
  • Jim Chesterfield — Project Manager, Arup. Electorate: Sydney. MP: Tanya Plibersek.
  • Dr Tracey Ann Cuin — Agricultural Scientist, University of Tasmania. Electorate: Lyons. MP: Brian Mitchell.
  • Alicia Heskett — Turnaround Engineer, Shell Australia. Electorate: Brisbane. MP: Trevor Evans.
  • Dr Jennifer Hollands — Stem Cell Researcher, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Electorate: Cooper. MP: Ged Kearney.
  • Dr Brenda Lin — Ecologist, CSIRO. Electorate: Moreton. MP: Graham Perrett.
  • Dr Anna Lintern — Civil Engineer, Monash University. Electorate: Goldstein. MP: Tim Wilson.
  • Dr Vanessa Lussini — Organic Chemist, Reserve Bank Australia. Electorate: Calwell. MP: Maria Vamvakinou.
  • Dr Ben McAllister — Quantum Physicist, University of Western Australia/ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. Electorate: Perth. MP: Patrick Gorman.
  • Tara Roberson — Science Communicator, University of Queensland/ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. Electorate: Ryan. MP: Julian Simmonds.
  • Dr Alex Russell — Gambling Researcher, CQUniversity. Electorate: Warringah. MP: Zali Steggall.
  • Associate Professor Deanne Skelly — Biomedical Scientist, Griffith University. Electorate: McPherson. MP: Karen Andrews.
  • Dr Gregory Staib — Energy Data Scientist, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Electorate: Ballarat. MP: Catherine King.
  • Ben Tadgell — Nanoparticle Researcher, University of Melbourne/ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science. Electorate: Wills. MP: Peter Khalil.
  • Jo Withford — Engineer, Transport for NSW. Electorate: Newcastle. MP: Sharon Claydon.

Image courtesy Science & Technology Australia.

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