Women in STEM award winners for 2021 announced

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Five exceptional Queensland female STEM professionals were today recognised for their outstanding initiatives as part of the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM award ceremony.

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said today we celebrate these inspiring Queensland women who make remarkable contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

“This is the sixth year the Palaszczuk Government, together with the Queensland Museum Network, has presented these prestigious prizes to amazing women conducting research that is making a real impact transforming our lives now and into the future,” Minister Enoch said.

“I applaud all of them for the enthusiasm they are fostering in STEM.

“Now more than ever, science education and literacy are an important part of our plan for economic recovery from COVID-19, creating jobs in science, and improving health and wellbeing outcomes for the Queensland community.”

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government will also continue to support the Queensland Museum Network’s delivery of the World Science Festival Queensland and its regional programming with $9 million over three years from 2021-22.

Minister Enoch said the quality of applicants for 2021 has been making great impressions here in Queensland as well as on the international science stage, contributing to world-leading research, science education and knowledge.

“This year’s winner of the Judges’ Award is PhD candidate, medical student and Fulbright Scholar at The University of Queensland, Chloe Yap,” Minister Enoch said.

“Chloe is working towards identifying biological markers that can improve early autism diagnosis supporting both children with autism and their families.

“I am also pleased to announce Christabel Webber as the 2021 Inclusion Award winner.

“Christabel, who was born profoundly deaf, is undertaking research that explores how farming management practices can impact farming performance to improve soil health and produce higher grain yield.

Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon congratulated all awardees and nominees, and said it demonstrated how Queensland’s women in STEM were leading the way in their fields of expertise and breaking barriers.

“It’s our women in STEM like the Chief Health Officer that have lead Queensland’s response and recovery from COVID-19,” Minister Scanlon said.

“These awards highlight just how important it is for the Palaszczuk Government to continue supporting the work they do, and I’m sure will inspire the next generation of young Queensland women to pursue a career in STEM.

“Three Highly Commended Awards are presented to Fiona Holmstrom, Kate Kingston and Sally McPhee who are all leaders in the STEM community.

“Co-founder of STEM Punks, Fiona Holmstrom is passionate about ensuring equality in the education system for girls in STEM.

“Kate Kingston has been a key part of improving soil health for wine growers by adding biochar, and Sally McPhee has played a fundamental role in providing STEM pathways, leadership and engagement opportunities for school students.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said entries to the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize were impressive and showed a depth and breadth of important work.

“More than 40 Queensland women, who have made contributions to STEM across the state entered this year’s awards,” Dr Thompson said.

“These diverse winners have shown strong drive to create a better future through innovative endeavours, displaying leadership and offering STEM education in the community.”

The Queensland Women in STEM prize is presented by Queensland Museum Network in partnership with the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist and Office for Women.

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