STEM Ambassadors to foster parliament’s links to science

Science & Technology Australia has today announced 17 new STEM Ambassadors.

New STEM Ambassador Dr Danielle Skropeta of Wollongong University. Photo by Paul Jones.

The new cohort of STA STEM Ambassadors will meet regularly with their local federal MPs and Senators in 2021 to deepen connections between policymakers and the STEM sector.

Science & Technology Australia’s prestigious STEM Ambassador program – which began in 2019 – pairs science and technology professionals with their local federal MPs and Senators.

Throughout the year, STEM Ambassadors meet with their local Parliamentarian to bring their science expertise and networks to assist evidence-based policy-making.

The STEM Ambassadors are drawn from Science & Technology Australia’s member organisations and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and interests.

This year, 17 new STEM Ambassadors join the program to work with 17 MPs and Senators.

The new STEM Ambassadors are:

  • Mathematician Associate Professor Artem Pulemotov of the University of Queensland is the new STEM Ambassador to Member for Oxley Milton Dick MP. Associate Professor Pulemotov is a member of the Australian Mathematical Society.
  • Marine biologist and shark researcher Charlotte Birkmanis of the University of Western Australia is the STEM Ambassador to Member for Brand, Madeleine King MP. Charlotte is a member of the Australian Marine Science Association.
  • Soil scientist Dr Chelsea Janke of the University of Queensland is STEM Ambassador to the Member for Forde Bert Van Manen MP. Dr Janke is a member of Soil Science Australia.
  • Associate Professor Danielle Skropeta of the University of Wollongong is the STEM Ambassador to Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird MP. Associate Professor Skropeta is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.
  • Audiology expert Dr Dona Jayakody of the University of Western Australia is the STEM Expert to WA Senator Rachel Siewert. Dr Jayakody is a member of Women in STEMM Australia.
  • Fetal physiologist Dr Emily Camm of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research is the STEM Ambassador to Victorian Senator David Van. Dr Camm is a member of the Australian Physiological Society.
  • Motor neurone disease expert Dr Fleur Garton of the University of Queensland is the STEM Ambassador to Member for Petrie Luke Howarth MP. Dr Garton is a member of the Australasian Genomic Technologies Association.
  • Professor of fisheries and river management Lee Baumgartner of Charles Sturt University is the STEM Ambassador to New South Wales Senator Perin Davey. Professor Baumgartner is a member of the Australian Society for Fish Biology.
  • Technology consultant Maddie Holly is the STEM Ambassador to the Member for Bean, David Smith MP. Maddie is a member of Women in STEMM Australia.
  • Rivers and water policy expert Dr Margaret Shanafield of Flinders University is the STEM Ambassador to South Australian Senator Rex Patrick. Dr Shanafield is a member of the Australian Freshwater Sciences Society.
  • Rejane Langlois Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne Dr Matthew Faria is STEM Ambassador to the Member for Gorton Brendan O’Connor MP. Dr Faria is a member of the Australian Mathematical Society.
  • Engineer and creator of Her Bold Universe Meg Panozzo is the STEM Ambassador to the Member for Wentworth, Dave Sharma MP. Meg is a member of Women in STEMM Australia.
  • Blowfly expert Associate Professor Michelle Harvey of Deakin University is the STEM Ambassador to Richard Marles MP, the Member for Corio and Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Associate Professor Harvey is a member of Women in STEMM Australia.
  • Academic Tutor at RMIT Dr Priya Rani is STEM Ambassador to Victorian Senator Janet Rice. Dr Rani is a member of Women in STEMM Australia.
  • Applied mathematician and apiarist Dr Shannon Algar of the University of Western Australia is STEM Ambassador to WA Senator Slade Brockman. Dr Algar is a member of the Australian Mathematical Society.
  • Cognitive scientist Dr Celia Harris of Western Sydney University is STEM Ambassador to the Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh MP. Dr Harris is a member of Women in STEMM Australia.
  • Neuroscientist Professor Adam Guastella of Sydney University is STEM Ambassador to New South Wales Senator Hollie Hughes. Professor Guastella is a member of Australian Psychological Society.

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert welcomed the new STEM Ambassadors and congratulated them on their selection from a highly competitive field.

“Science has been Australia’s salvation in tackling COVID-19. Australia needs to continue to build on that strong relationship between the STEM sector and Parliamentarians to prepare Australia to meet future challenges,” she said.

“The STEM Ambassador program empowers experts to become effective advocates for science and the sector, and to use their expertise to inform policy to shape Australia’s future.”

“We’re delighted to welcome the new STEM Ambassadors and look forward to seeing them develop a strong working relationship with their local MPs and Senators to make sure science and technology are at the forefront of policy thinking.”

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