photo of woman holding award
Science educator and mentor Ms Suzy Urbaniak was named WA’s 2020 Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards. The Governor has been pleased to meet and congratulate Ms Urbaniak on her many achievements during the lead up to the national Australian of the Year Awards announcement in January.

Spotlight on Governor’s Priorities – International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science (external link), a global uniting initiative to celebrate women and girls who are leading innovation and to call for actions to remove all barriers that hold them back.

Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science:

  • At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women.
  • According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.
  • Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 per cent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5 per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 per cent).
Women in STEM in WA

Ms Suzy Urbaniak, Western Australia’s 2020 Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards, is a science educator and mentor. With years of practical geology and education experience, she developed her own earth sciences program, the Centre of Resources Excellence (CoRE).

For International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Suzy has released a message encouraging women and girls to take on a career in STEM.

“So girls, embrace those skills, embrace your confidences – take on a STEM career, whether it’s in resources, agriculture, defence or health. A STEM career actually provides you with a solid foundation to transition through your career. I’m a fine example of it!”

View the full message (external link)

The Governor’s Priorities – Promoting science education

Promoting education, including the importance of both science and arts education in schools and the capacity of our tertiary institutions to engage internationally in education, training and research is one of the Governor’s Priorities.

The Governor recognises that equipping young people with vital problem solving and creative thinking skills will help them to succeed in jobs of the future, and unlock opportunities for our economy.

For these reasons:

  • The Governor is proud to be involved with the Governor’s School STEM Awards which promote best standards in whole-of-school STEM education across primary and secondary school categories.
  • In October 2019, an afternoon tea was hosted at Government House for WA students selected to attend the 2020 National Youth Science Forum Year 12 Program. Nationally, 65% of participants selected for the 2020 Program were female.






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