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Strong skills and diversity among new STA Board directors

29 Oct 2020 1:23 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

Australia’s peak body for science and technology has today welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors, representing strong diversity and breadth in STEM disciplines.

STA announced the following new appointees to its Board:

  • Agricultural and food sciences – Mr Michael Walker, Soil Science Australia Executive Officer
  • Biological sciences – Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa, Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (La Trobe University)
  • Physical sciences - Professor Jodie Bradby, Australian Institute of Physics (ANU)
  • Technological sciences - Dr Vipul Agarwal, Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Royal Australian Chemical Institute (UNSW Sydney)

STA President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie warmly welcomed the new members of the Board, which oversees governance and sets strategy for the organisation.

“STA’s governance reflects our diverse membership, which collectively represents over 80,000 STEM professionals in Australia,” Associate Professor Brownlie said.

“Our incoming Board is genuinely diverse across the STEM disciplines represented, as well as across gender and culture.”

“Diversity of experiences and expertise is vital to strong Boards. It’s essential to robust decision-making, quality governance and visionary leadership for organisations.”

“On behalf of the organisation, I warmly welcome our incoming Board members, both those who have been newly appointed, and those who have been re-elected.”

Dr Tom Cresswell (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia), Jas Chambers (Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society), Marina Costelloe (Institute of Australian Geographers), Professor Adrian Barnett (Statistical Society of Australia) and Professor Rachel Burton (Australian Society of Plant Scientists) return to the STA Board for another 2 year term each.

STA’s new executive committee will be elected at the Annual General Meeting in late November.

For interviews, please contact STA Communications Manager, Zoya Patel on 0406 249 786.

More about our new Board members:

Dr Vipul Agarwal

Vipul is an NHMRC Fellow and Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) who applies multidisciplinary research to develop bioimplants for spinal cord regeneration. He has strong experience working with industry and takes pride in advocating diversity and equity in science and scientific research.

Professor Jodie Bradby

Jodie is a physicist at the Australian National University with expertise in high pressure physics and the creation of new crystal phases of matter. Her group has made a type of silicon that can create a more efficient solar cell and a new form of diamond which is predicted to be even harder than regular diamond. Jodie is the Past-President of the Australian Institute of Physics and was a former AIP Women in Physics medallist. She has a strong interest in equity issues in STEM.

Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa

Tatiana is an early career biochemist and Group Leader at La Trobe University. She has won NHMRC Early Career and ARC DECRA fellowships to research antibiotics and herbicides to tackle the exponential rise in resistance. Tatiana was the founding President of La Trobe’s postdoctoral society. She is Editor of the Australian Biochemist magazine and the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Chair of Communications and Science Advocacy.

Mr Michael Walker

Michael is Executive Officer of Social Science Australia and has spent his career in horticultural and agricultural professional associations. He has extensive experience in NFP membership, events management, board governance and project management. Michael is a former Chair of the Horticultural Training Council and of Primary Skills Victoria.   

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