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National Launch for the NYSF 2020 Year 12 Program - feature image, used as a supportive image and isn't important to understand article

We would like to thank everyone for attending this national launch of the NYSF 2020 Year 12 Program. We are very grateful to our Partner Organisations and Rotary Volunteers, without whom we could not deliver the life-changing NYSF Year 12 Program and many of our other STEM programs.

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) hosted the National Launch of the 2020 NYSF Year 12 Program last Thursday 28 November. We welcomed 2020 Participants, Alumni, Rotarians, NYSF Partners and Distinguished Guests to celebrate and launch what will be the 37th Year of the NYSF Year 12 Program.

The event started with a networking session followed by five guest speakers, who touched on why a STEM skilled workforce is so crucial for Australia’s future, and why this immersive, residential NYSF experience is so important to expose students to different areas of science, and what real careers in STEM look like.

NYSF CEO Dr Melanie Bagg started by acknowledging the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, The Honourable Karen Andrews MP, Dr Katie Allen MP representing the Honourable Dan Tehan, Minister for Education and Training, NYSF Science Patron Professor Tanya Monro FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD, and all other Distinguished Guests. Melanie then welcomed Brad Moggridge, an Aboriginal water scientist from the Kamilaroi region. Brad shared his inspirational Indigenous STEM story, illustrated the challenges for Indigenous people participating in STEM, and delivered an Acknowledgement of Country.

"I was told in year 10 I shouldn't do science or maths because I wasn't smart enough and I said you've got no chance, I love it... For Indigenous people they may see it [STEM] as out of reach, but if I can do it anyone can."

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Brad Moggridge

We were privileged to have Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, The Honourable Karen Andrews MP, Dr. Katie Allen MP representing the Hon. Dan Tehan, Minister for Education and Training, and the Hon Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Education and training. In congratulating current participants on their selection to the 2020 Year 12 Program, Minister Andrews encouraged them to take opportunities to speak with as many people as possible about their experience and learnings.

"Australia needs young people who are passionate about science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies and careers... We know around 75 per cent of the jobs of the future will require STEM skills, that’s why it’s so important we make sure our young people continue their STEM education and encourage them into future STEM jobs.”

“Science, research and innovation, are an important part of the Government’s plan for a stronger economy and creating local jobs” Minister Andrews said.

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The Honourable Karen Andrews MP

Dr. Katie Allen MP spoke to the NYSF 2020 Year 12 Program participants about building resilience in pursuing a STEM career and the importance of STEM education on behalf of The Minister for Education and Training, The Honourable Dan Tehan. Dr Katie Allen shared her experience as a medical researcher for 28 years, and as a scientist in the Australian Parliament with her advice to participants.

"I've only failed when I've given up... If it's a good idea, and you keep on going you'll get there in the end".

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Dr Katie Allen MP representing Hon. Dan Tehan, Minister for Education and Training.

Chair of the NYSF Board, Andrew Metcalf AO, spoke about the participants achievements in being selected for the NYSF 2020 Year 12 Program, and how being immersed in STEM and exposed to different STEM fields can influence their study and career direction.

“Students will live on a university campus, be exposed to cutting-edge research facilities and industry sites, learn entrepreneurial and science communication skills and become more informed about real-life study and career options,"

Andrew also included some important advice to NYSF 2020 Year 12 Program participants:

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NYSF Board Chair, Andrew Metcalf AO

"I encourage this year’s participants to keep an open mind and embrace each and every part of the program. The whole point of NYSF is to expose you to areas of science, STEM careers and STEM facilities that you don’t yet know exist and to introduce you to real STEM Professionals."

Andrew then thanked all NYSF Partner organisations with special acknowledgement of Lockheed Martin Australia, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, our two host universities The Australian National University and The University of Queensland, and our founding partner Rotary Australia. He also thanked our volunteers and supporters, without whom we would not be able to produce the Year 12 Program.

Chief Defence Scientist and NYSF Science Patron Professor Tanya Monro FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD spoke of encouraging participants to pursue a STEM career and to share their experiences with family and friends.

"Australia does extraordinary science, be that inspiration, confidence and energy," 

"Congratulations to the students who are about to embark on the program. I hope you find it gives you the inspiration and energy to make your own path. You will meet people, make friends and have ideas that you've never had to chance to before."

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NYSF Science Patron, Professor Tanya Monro FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD

Scott Thompson, Deputy Country Executive Australia and New Zealand of Lockheed Martin Australia, spoke about the success of the NYSF Year 12 Program in connecting students with real world STEM opportunities and careers, including the many that exist in industry.  Lockheed Martin Australia have been a long-term, much valued partner of the NYSF and continue to support our programs both with funding and by providing speakers and visits to their facilities in Australia.

"It's the passion of the NYSF Program that inspired Lockheed Martin Australia to become a major partner in 2014. This program is unique and critical. We're looking to the workforce of tomorrow, today."

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Scott Thompson, Deputy Country Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe, thanked all Rotarians for their tireless work in running student selections in excess of 20,000 hours per year. He acknowledged the important role they play in helping the NYSF reach communities all throughout Australia and hence encouraging strong equity and diversity. In 2020, the NYSF Year 12 Program will see participation of 65% female students and 38% regional and remote students.
Rotarian, Rob Woolley was presented with the 2019 Bruce and Lois Sharp Award. Created in 2011 by the Rotary Club of Ginninderra, the award recognises Rotarians and other individuals who have made a significant contribution to the NYSF program. Rob has been volunteering with the NYSF since 2005, became a member of the NYSF Board as a Rotary Liaison Officer in 2013 until retiring earlier this year. We sincerely thank Rob for his support over the past 14 years, and we are proud to acknowledge his efforts through the Bruce and Lois Sharp Award.

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Dr. Melanie Bagg, Andrew Metcalf and Professor Tanya Monro presenting the Bruce and Lois Sharp Award to Rob Woolley

 

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We would like to thank everyone for attending this national launch of the NYSF 2020 Year 12 Program. We are very grateful to our Partner Organisations and Rotary Volunteers, without whom we could not deliver the life-changing NYSF Year 12 Program and many of our other STEM programs.