EQUS STEM Ambassadors to help put science on national agenda

Two EQUS researchers have been named STEM Ambassadors by Science & Technology Australia, Dr Ben McAllister from the University of Western Australia and Dr Tara Roberson from the University of Queensland.

The  STEM Ambassadors will work together with their local MP to help bridge the gap between science and government in Australia.

They 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.

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 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Australia.

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 Ambassador Program is vital to forging relationships between science and parliament,” stated STA President Associate-Professor Jeremy Brownlie.

“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.

“It’s brilliant to see so many of federal parliamentarians involved in the program and keen to know more about the science and technology happening in their own back yards”.

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 of STEM Ambassadors come from a wide range of science, technology, and engineering mathematics professions, representing a range of sectors. They are:

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

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

​Media contact: Leesa Maroske 0439 784 216

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Major funding support

Australian Research Council