Science and Technology Australia

Science & Technology Australia was pleased to welcome members to Canberra last Friday for our AGM, including elections for a number of key positions on the STA Executive Committee. We are pleased to announce the following successful candidates:


President-elect                       Professor Emma Johnston               Professor Johnston will become President from November 2017)

Vice President                        Dr Jeremy Brownlie                         Outgoing Secretary, Dr Brownlie was elected by the Board against a strong field after Professor Johnston vacated the Vice President role

Secretary                                Dr Darren Saunders

Policy Chair                           Dr Cathy Foley                                             

ECR Representative Dr Alan Duffy                                                          


They join the following continuing members of the Executive Committee:


President                                Professor Jim Piper

Treasurer                               Stephen Horn

ECR Representative Dr Francine Marques



Robyn Porter has stepped down as Policy Chair. Jamie Vandenberg has stepped down as Ordinary Member. We farewell them and thank them for their service – their enthusiasm and commitment to STA have been invaluable.


The outstanding calibre of candidates and the broad interest in running for these positions speaks highly of STA’s reputation and growing impact, and is a strong indication of our ongoing ability to advocate strongly on behalf of our members and the science and technology sectors more generally. We thank all those who ran for a position on the Executive Committee, and look forward to working with the new team.


Yours Sincerely,


Kylie Walker                                                                                       Professor Jim Piper

Chief Executive Officer                                                                     President


Science & Technology Australia


Pay up, morale down for scientists: national report (21 November 2016)

Job uncertainty, overwork and a loss of skills in the workplace are keeping the morale of Australian scientists low despite an average salary increase in the last 12 months, the 2016 national Professional Scientists Employment and Remuneration Survey has found.


The survey was conducted by Professional Scientists Australia in conjunction with Science & Technology Australia (STA). It shows that in the past year, average remuneration for scientists has increased by 2.4 per cent, outperforming both the Consumer Price Index and general wages growth. However, the gender pay gap persists: women scientists’ average salary packages is 83% of men’s.


“The increase in average wages for scientists underlies the value that they deliver every day to Australia, both in the private sector and in the public research sector, but it is obviously disappointing that we continue to value the work of women scientists below the work of men,” said STA Chief Executive Kylie Walker.


More than one-third of respondents to the survey had received no pay increase in the previous year, and cost cutting paired with uncertainty of funding from year-to-year has created concern about the overall capability of research organisations to continue to do good work. Around one-third of respondents said they were considering leaving their current job, citing pay, lack of professional development opportunities, and lack of work-life balance as contributing factors. More than half of respondents said staff morale had declined in the past 12 months, and 61 per cent said worker fatigue had increased.


“Seven in 10 respondents said cost-cutting is impacting the science capability of their organisation, and around four in 10 said staffing levels are not keeping pace with the workload,” Ms Walker said.


“If Australia is serious about driving innovation, improving wellbeing and shifting towards an R&D-based economy, we must invest properly in science capability – education, specialised equipment and infrastructure, and properly remunerated professional scientists and technologists.


“Many highly skilled researchers see science as a vocation, and are passionate about their work, which is wonderful for Australia. We need to make sure they are supported to direct that passion and those high-level skills and knowledge to the best advantage for research and for Australia.”


STA is the peak group for the nation’s 68,000 scientists and those working in technology. STA’s mission is to bring together scientists, governments, industry and the broader community to advance the role, reputation and impact of science and technology in Australia.


The report is available at

An infographic is attached to this email: media are welcome to reproduce it.


Media comment:        STA CEO                      Kylie Walker   0405 229 152 

                                    STA President             Jim Piper         0417 250 163

21 November 2016 



Science & Technology Australia
T: 02 6257 2891| F: 02 6257 2897 | M: 0405 229 152
PO Box 259, Canberra City ACT 2601


Science & Technology Australia – Budget Newsletter 3 May 2016

From the Federal Budget Lockup

It is no surprise that there is little new for science in tonight’s Federal Budget. After the announcement of the $1.1 Billion National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) last December, it was unlikely additional measures would follow.

Some measures include:

$110.5 million to Geoscience Australia to produce geographic modelling of mineral, groundwater and petroleum resources across South Australia and Northern Australia;
$15 million for a national carp control plan;
The Bureau of Meteorology will receive funding to maintain its supercomputer capabilities, with the total amount commercial-in-confidence;
The Great Barrier Reef Plan and Trust will get a $171 million boost, extending the program to make the reef more resilient;
$12 million for an extension of the Australian Astronomical Observatory, taking it out to 2019/20
(The CRC program is described as providing some of the savings to fund the AAO. The exact amount is not clear.)

Many members will be interested in the fate of the controversial higher education reforms of 2014/15 (full fee deregulation and a 20 per cent cut to funding per student place). The 20 per cent cut has remained in the assumptions that underlie the Budget. However, policy decisions have not been finalised on these and other significant higher education issues. Instead, the Government has issued a paper as part of the Budget. “Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education” canvasses a wide range of issues and options, with policy determinations to be finalised by year’s end.

There will be initiatives of interest to members buried in the detailed Portfolio Budget Statements for individual Federal Departments. Direct links to all of these documents are included.

As usual we welcome any input, hints and useful intelligence as we continue to dig through the documents in the coming days.

Regards, Catriona Jackson, STA CEO.

Top 5 Under 40 – Applications closing 8 May
UNSW and ABC Radio National have teamed up once again for the 2016 Top 5 under 40 – a national search to provide a voice to early-career researchers to communicate their science.

Early-career researchers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical research under 40 are eligible to apply.  The 5 winners will undertake a two-week residency with RN in Sydney, learning and practicing media and communication skills.

If you or someone you know are eligible, you can find out more and apply here.  Applications close at midnight on 8 May, so get in soon.

Professor Emma Johnston Appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UNSW
A warm congratulations to both Professor Johnston and UNSW on her appointment as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research).

In addition to her career as a researcher, TV host and member of the STA Executive, Professor Johnston says she looks forward to the “further advancement of UNSW’s academic excellence, social engagement and global impact.” We wish her the best of luck in this new role.
Government Board Appointments
The Federal Government has announced appointments to several boards and committees as part of the National Science and Innovation Agenda (NISA). The appointments are as below, along with links to the full statements.

Innovation and Science Australia Board:

Dr Alan Finkel AO, Chief Scientist (Deputy Chair)
Ms Maile Carnegie, CEO Google Australia and New Zealand
Mr Scott Farquhar, Co-founder and CEO Atlassian
Mr Daniel Petre AO, Partner AirTree Ventures
Mr Paul Bassat, Co-founder Square Peg Capital and Co-founder SEEK
Dr Chris Roberts, Non-Executive Director ResMed
Dr Michele Allan, Chancellor Charles Sturt University (reappointed)
Expert Working Group to develop a National Research Infrastructure Roadmap:

Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist (Chairman)
Professor Edwina Cornish, Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University
Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, Chief Scientific Office and R&D Director, CSL Limited
Professor Sandra Harding, Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University
Ms Rosie Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, Australian National Fabrication Facility
Professor Suzanne Miller, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Queensland Museum Network
Dr Adi Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Professor Andy Pitman, Director, ARC Centre for Excellence for Climate System Science
Senate Committee to measure value of university research:

Mr Graeme Whickman, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company Australia
Dr Shanny Dyer, Managing Director, Wavefront Biometric Technologies
Mr Ken Boal, Vice-President, Cisco Australia and New Zealand
Emeritus Professor Lesley Johnson, University of Technology Sydney and Griffith University
Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New South Wales
Ms Belinda Robinson, CEO, Universities Australia
Professor Scott Bowman, Vice-Chancellor and President, CQ University Australia
Professor Anne Kelso, CEO, National Health and Medical Research Council
Mr Mark Cully, Chief Economist, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Dr Alan Finkel, Chief Scientist
Professor Shearer West, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Sheffield
Budget links and information

If access is slow due to high demand, the Budget papers will also be available via:

The Parliamentary Library issued ‘A guide to the Commonwealth Budget’.

Treasurer Scott Morrison
Minister Matthias Cormann
Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer
Minister Alex Hawke



Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen
Shadow Minister Tony Burke
Shadow Minister Jim Chalmers

Mr Turnbull’s personal site.

Bill Shorten

Minister Barnaby Joyce
Minister Anne Ruston
Minister Keith Pitt


Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon

Minister Greg Hunt
Minister Hunt’s personal website


Shadow Minister Mark Butler

Minister Mitch Fifield

Minister Fiona Nash


Shadow Minister Jason Clare
Shadow Minister Mark Dreyfus

Minister Marise Payne

Marise Media Releases Archive

Minister Dan Tehan

Dan Tehan Media Releases Archive

Minister Michael McCormack

Michael McCormack Media Releases Archive


Shadow Minister David Feeney


Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Gai Brodtmann
(Shadow Minister Stephen Conroy does not have a website)

Minister Jane Prentice


Shadow Minister Jenny Macklin

Ministers Simon Birmingham, Scott Ryan and Richard Colbeck
Minister Birmingham’s personal site.
Minister Ryan’s personal site.
Minister Colbeck’s personal site


Shadow Minister Kate Ellis
Shadow Minister Sharon Bird
Shadow Minister Amanda Rishworth

Minister Michaelia Cash


Shadow Minister Brendan O’Connor

Minister Josh Frydenberg


Shadow Minister Gary Gray

Minister Julie Bishop
Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells


Shadow Minister Tanya Plibersek

Minister Sussan Ley
Minister Ley’s personal site.
Minister Fiona Nash
Minister Ken Wyatt


Shadow Minister Catherine King
Shadow Minister Shayne Neumann
Shadow Minister Stephen Jones
Shadow Minister Katy Gallagher

Minister Alan Tudge


Shadow Minister Doug Cameron

Minister Peter Dutton


Shadow Minister Richard Marles

Minister Nigel Scullion
Minister Scullion’s personal site
Minister Alan Tudge


Shadow Minister Shayne Neumann
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Warren Snowdon

Minister Christopher Pyne
Minister Pyne’s personal site
Minister Karen Andrews
Minister Wyatt Roy


Shadow Minister Kim Carr

Minister Darren Chester
Minister Fiona Nash
Minister Paul Fletcher
Minister Angus Taylor


Infrastructure Australia

Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese

Attorney-General George Brandis
Minister Michael Keenan


Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

Minister Craig Laundy

Shadow Minister Michelle Rowland

Minister Christian Porter


Shadow Minister Jenny Macklin

Minister Steven Ciobo
Minister Richard Colbeck
Trade Envoy Andrew Robb


Shadow Minister Penny Wong

Minister Dan Tehan

Shadow Minister David Feeney


Australian Greens

Palmer United Party

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon

Independent MP Bob Katter

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie


Independent MP Cathy McGowan

Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm


Family First Senator Bob Day

Motoring Enthusiasts Senator Ricky Muir

Independent Senator John Madigan

Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus

Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie

The links above have been generously provided by Canberra IQ, an e-digest of Australian Federal politics and policy. You can find out more and subscribe at

Copyright © 2016 Science & Technology Australia, All rights reserved.
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