Log in

STA Member Update

24 May 2021 2:25 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

The federal Budget had a host of initiatives in science and technology, and a detailed analysis is in STA’s budget breakdown. We were pleased to see so many of you at our STA members-only post-Budget briefing last Friday.

Among other commentary, STA welcomed announcements to establish mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability in Australia and a new patent box scheme to incentivise biotech and medtech patents and manufacturing onshore - with a pledge to consult on extending the scheme to clean energy technology. We also backed a pledge to create new scholarships for women in STEM. Our President Jeremy Brownlie and I were quoted in InnovationAus.

The launch of the new intake of STA STEM Ambassadors generated good media coverage, with stories about our new Ambassadors in the Canberra Times, West Australian, ABC, and the Border Mail. Campus Morning Mail noted the strong interest from MPs right across the breadth of the Parliament in this terrific program. One of this year’s MPs - NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey - said she was delighted to join “as we know how important it is for science to inform policy in so many critical areas”. “I congratulate Science & Technology Australia on developing a program that will improve the links between policy and STEM across a wide range of policy areas and across all parties.” 

I was also honoured to speak at the opening of the Western National Innovation Games about STA’s Superstars of STEM program which tackles the visibility barrier for diverse women in STEM. And we are gearing up for National Reconciliation Week - and looking forward to seeing the STEM sector sharing Indigenous knowledges during that period.

Lastly, after an impressive 16 years in the role, Sam Popovski is moving on from leading the CSIRO Staff Association. Our thanks to Sam for his leadership and dedication to CSIRO staff throughout his time in the role, and we wish him the very best in his new role at the CPSU. 

Until next time, 

Misha Schubert 
CEO, Science & Technology Australia 


STA invites nominations for our Policy Committee and our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. These are great opportunities to participate in STA’s work in these areas. We strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, people from diverse faith, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and LGBTQIA+ identified STEM professionals.

To register your interest or to see the Terms of Reference, head to our website. Applications close midnight 6 June.


Two important events next week: Sorry Day, and the start of National Reconciliation Week. Sorry Day – Wednesday 26 May - is a national commemoration to remember past policies of forced child removal and the intergenerational damage those policies caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. National Reconciliation Week, which begins on Thursday 27 May (the anniversary of the 1967 referendum to count Indigenous Australians as citizens in their own land), is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements. It's also a time to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. We will be marking Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week on our social media channels and would encourage member organisations to do the same. Social media assets are available on the National Reconciliation Week 2021 website.


Further information: Peter Derbyshire, STA Policy Manager -


STA has been exploring opportunities with the Department of Home Affairs to share updated information with STA members about accessing the Global Talent Visa Program for brilliant global STEM talent. Some of the criteria have evolved, and there is a strong opportunity globally to recruit outstanding STEM talent. If you would find it valuable to attend an information session organised by STA and presented by the Department, please get in touch with STA Membership Manager Lucy Guest at


Do you have a STEM idea, technology, innovation, product or program that could become a reality if you could just source some financial support or even just some key introductions? Then we want to hear from you. STA is launching a new project where we’ll aim to highlight activities and ideas that need some level of extra support to get them to the next stage, whether that is government funding, industry collaboration, or commercialisation. Get in contact with our Communications Manager, Martyn Pearce.


  • The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) is supporting a terrific series of events and scientific workshops. Check them out here.
  • The Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference 2021 is accepting abstracts until 31 May.  
  • The next seminar in the Australian Society for Parasitology will be held on Friday 28 May. Register now to learn about flukes in Southern Bluefin Tuna. 
  • Cicada Innovations has an event on 2 June exploring what would happen if we rebuilt the world using biotech. Register here
  • Early and mid-career researchers can get involved with an initiative to Reboot STEMM. The half-day virtual think tank aims to co-design a strategy for a more inclusive and diverse way of defining, recognising and rewarding ‘success’. Apply to be a part of it by 28 May.

To add a conference or event: contact STA Events & Membership Manager Lucy Guest –


  • Entrepreneurs' Programme - Accelerating Commercialisation – Ongoing.
  • The annual Australian Academy of Science awards are now open. The awards shine a light on researchers who are making outstanding contributions to science in Australia. There is also conference funding available.
  • The Academy also recently expanded its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientists award, which now covers research funding as well as travel up to $20,000. Apply by 1 June.
  • STEM Executive Experience day gives ambitious leaders aged between 22 and 35 the chance to see what it takes to be an executive. You can win a place at the event including return flights to Sydney and two nights in a five-star hotel. Enter by 29 May.
  • Applications are open for ABC’s 2021 Top 5 Science Residency program. The scheme aims to equip emerging science scholars with media and communication skills, and will give you the chance to work alongside some of Australia’s leading journalists. Applications are open to PhD-qualified early career academics in all STEM fields. Applications close Tuesday 1 June.


The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are open for application! This year there are 16 prizes across the categories of Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Engagement, and School Science. Prizes cover a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and recognise the work of scientists, researchers, and science communicators at all career stages. There is a prize pool of $160,000 to be shared between winners. Entries close at 7pm AEST on Friday 28 May.

Australian Science Innovations (ASI) is seeking expression of interest for board directors with broad governance and business skills, particularly with qualifications or extensive experience in government relations, digital marketing and communications, and/or fundraising. Find out more here.

Are you following Science & Technology Australia on Instagram? If you’re a member organisation using Insta as one of your communication channels please follow us and we’ll follow you back!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software