Canberra Women of Science and ArtNational Science Week 2020
The Canberra Women of Science and Art events ran in August 2020.
Participants met a diverse group of Canberran women working in and inspired by science, tech, engineering, art and maths (STEAM).
These interesting people were anything but ‘boring scientists’ or ‘wacky artists’. They have written books with environmental messages; invented a robot-enabled school experience for sick kids; created technology and education programs to tell ancient, indigenous Australian stories; taught children how to investigate and draw nature; implemented grassroots action on climate change…
We also ran a competition and winners received prizes (thank you to our sponsors). View the fantastic submissions!
Renee and Claire were also invited to speak at the Future of Meetings Symposium (15-17 September 2020). Take a look at their presentation as part of the Panel: “Lessons learned from virtual interactions”.
“The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin… or even different parts of the same continuun, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.”
Key activities and outcomes
Access the Activity and Resources kit
Explore the submissions to our competition
Watch our two webinars
Couldn’t attend live? Never fear. Check out the two webinar recordings below (and the blog posts about them).
Watch the first webinar, aimed at families
Featuring: Nicole Godwin, Julia Landford and Megan Gilmour
View it below and read the blog post about it.
Indigenous entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Indigital, a technology, education and social enterprise
Mikaela Jade is a Cabrogal Woman from the Dharug-speaking Nations of Sydney. She started her technology journey in 2012 with an idea that would help shape our nation – augmented and mixed reality production, and later, digital skills programs to leapfrog First Peoples’ in to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
To drive this idea forward, Mikaela created Indigital in 2014. On the journey so far she has partnered with several remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Microsoft Australia, Telstra, Telstra Purple and Shared Path Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation to scale our work nationally.
Founding Director of NatureArt Lab, wildlife and botanical artist, environmental educator, qualified teacher
Julia developed a love of nature growing up in Papua New Guinea and has devoted three decades to environmental education and natural history art. She has previously worked as a public servant in international development, and is a former teacher. She started an organisation called Wildlife and Botanical Artists 20 years ago which has now become a privately run natural history art school. NatureArt Lab is a natural progression of all her passions and is a unique experience for the Canberra community. Julia received the Environmental Educator of the Year Award for the ACT in 2019 from the Australian Association of Environmental Education.
Social and environmental activist, Executive Officer of SEE-Change, Founder of Trash Gather
Maddie Diamond is a 23 year old social and environmental activist from Canberra. Maddie was awarded 2020 ACT Young Australian of the Year for her community leadership in sustainability. She is the Executive Officer of SEE-Change, a local grassroots organisation bringing people together to create sustainable change in Canberra. She is also the founder of Trash Gather, a youth-led volunteer group that organises regular rubbish clean ups around the city. Maddie has just completed a Diploma of Sustainable Practice at TAFE NSW.
Social innovator, Co-Founder and CEO of Robots4Good, Missing School and Art of Agency
Megan Gilmour is a social innovator who has worked on complex social and economic development operations across 24 countries. She’s a leader in governance and systems, research and advocacy for students with serious illness. In 2017, Megan created the Australian-first national telepresence robot initiative to get sick kids back to school. She’s a Churchill Fellow, a media spokesperson and TEDx Speaker, and was a finalist for the ACT Australian of the Year award in 2018. In 2019 she won ACT Telstra Business Women’s Award in social enterprise, made the Australian Financial Review list of 100 Women of Influence, and won CBW Award for Innovation.
Author, Speaker and Founder of Tusk Books
Nicole is an award-winning author who shines a light on animal rights and environmental issues. Her captivating picture books encourage young readers to consider the natural world they live in. The subject matter of her books includes a jellyfish falling in love with a plastic bag (Jelly-Boy), a dolphin discovering ocean pollution, driftnets and much more (Billie), and elephants being used to entertain tourists (Ella). Nicole is a regular presenter at schools, offering engaging, interactive and thought-provoking sessions.
Brought to you by…
Claire Harris, owner of Innovate Communicate, is a communication-marketing consultant specialising in science, tech and engineering. She began her career conducting fisheries research in cane drains. Realising she was more interested in what people were going to do with research results than being a researcher she changed career direction. Claire also can’t help herself; she has a few other businesses and activities on the go including Cowork Coplay (coworking with childminding for mothers who want some time and headspace for their own professional development), the Changemaker Career and Craft Hub events coming up later in the year and Recover from Injury (a website with resources for people on a recovery journey).
Renee is a Brisbane born-and-bred science communicator spending 2020 in Canberra to complete a Master of Science Communication (Outreach) with ANU and Questacon. She believes that the creativity of science is underrated and exploring the link between science and art can make science interesting and accessible to wider audiences. Her background is in geographical science and writing. She has experience in creating professional science content and performing engaging science shows for kids and the young-at-heart.
With special thanks to...
Jessica Riese, for the beautiful, original artwork that is the feature image for this activity.
Rob Thomas for his marketing and communication contributions, including on social media. Check out his profile on LinkedIn.
This National Science Week project is supported by the Australian Government through the National Science Week ACT Committee.