STEM Role Models and the Appointment of Dr Cathy Foley AO as the Chief Scientist of Australia

9 Nov | '2020

Today I welcome the appointment of accomplished physicist Dr Cathy Foley AO as the Chief Scientist of Australia. In Moncrieff young women tell me that great role models like Dr Foley matter at every stage of their journey into STEM careers. You cannot be what you cannot see. Girls in Moncrieff studying early secondary science look up to the senior girls who earn university places and to scientists at a national and international level.

At university, young women tell me that those they meet on campus, perhaps postgraduate students and their lecturers, provide encouragement by their words and their presence. They can see that academic success is achievable, even when their studies seem difficult. In the workplace, women starting STEM careers, again, find the example, and the words of women more advanced in their careers can make a big difference to their confidence to establish their own careers. Young women and men in Moncrieff agree that role models in STEM not only influence the confidence of women and girls but also contribute to men and boys having positive perceptions towards women in STEM.

Congratulations again to Dr Foley on her appointment today. Congratulations to the many scientists, men and women, who have supported her journey so far. To the girls and women in Moncrieff: pursue your STEM studies with confidence: you are supported and your achievements are celebrated across Australia with the great studies that you do in STEM. The Morrison government supports women in STEM.

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