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 Meets Parliament 2016

SSA Member Nicholas Tierney was lucky enough to be able to attend “Science Meets Parliament” this year. Read Nick’s report here.


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