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Entries now open for Queensland Women in STEM Prize

07 November 2019

Queensland women who make an outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths are invited to take part in the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize.

Entries are now open for the state-wide competition, which is presented by Queensland Museum Network, Queensland Government and the BHP Foundation and provides $15,000 to women working in STEM careers whose practice has the potential to benefit Queensland.

In 2019, the winners included Amanda Dawson, Anu Choudray and Clare Villalba whose work include the effects of marine pollution on seafood, investigating non-chemical forms of agricultural weed control and work in preventing diabetes-related blindness.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the winners of the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize will be announced in March during World Science Festival Brisbane.

“World Science Festival Brisbane brings together luminaries from the scientific world for five days during March and I believe the festival is the ideal platform to showcase the achievements of these remarkable women who are doing great things in science right here in Queensland,” Dr Thompson said.

“We are proud to announce the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize winners as part of World Science Festival Brisbane.”

Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said the competition, which is entering its fifth year, highlights the dedication of Queensland’s female scientists.

“Queensland has a wealth of talented professionals working in STEM industries, producing world-leading research, and through the Queensland Women in STEM Prize we can highlight the incredible achievements of Queensland women,” Minister Enoch said.

“We are committed to attracting more women into science careers and support those women who are already working in STEM careers to reach their full potential.”

Previous winners of the Queensland Women in STEM Prize are feeding the world through sustainable livestock production; establishing new manufacturing industries and advancing medical science through drug discovery and improved understanding of immune responses.

Minister for Women Di Farmer said there were many women who are succeeding in the fields of maths, technology, education and maths.

“You can’t be what you can’t see, which is why it’s so important to celebrate women who are excelling in STEM to show other women and girls there’s nothing they can’t achieve in these sectors,” Minister Farmer said.

“We want to make sure STEM professions are open and inclusive to everyone, regardless of gender – diversity is always a strength, but particularly so in STEM fields where new perspectives and ideas are crucial to drive innovation.

“By highlighting these motivated women and their amazing achievements, we want to inspire a new generation girls and women to follow in their footsteps and pursue a career in STEM.”

Entries for the Queensland Women in STEM Prize are open to early to mid-career women and students working in STEM careers, with three cash prizes of $5,000 available.

Prizes are awarded across three categories, Jury Award, People’s Choice Award and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Jury Award.

James Ensor, Chief Executive, BHP Foundation said one area of focus for the BHP Foundation is to work in partnership with others to provide pathways for under-represented groups, including women, girls, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to pursue STEM-based careers.

“There is an undeniable benefit to diversity in the workforce, and recognizing the success of women in STEM careers is an important way to continue to inspire more women and girls to develop the STEM skills so critical to our future prosperity. We are proud to again be part of this Awards program, as it continues to drive greater visibility of women, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, in the STEM sector,” Mr Ensor said.

Applications for the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize close at 5pm, 4 February 2020, and are to be submitted online https://2020-queensland-women-in-stem-prize.thinkable.org/