16 champions lead $41.2 million STEM program

16 STEM champions lead $41.2 million Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program


Sixteen industry representatives have been appointed to lead an Advisory Group that will award up to 500 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships over seven years to women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) elected eleven female and five male STEM advocates from across industry and academia as part of the federal government’s $41.2 million Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program.  

Co-chaired by Dr Marlene Kanga, former president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) and Dr Adi Patterson, an international leader in nuclear science and technology, the Elevate Advisory Group will procure sector wide partnerships, as well as guide strategy and implementation of the program’s objectives. 

“I am proud to lead this incredible project which we hope will shift the dial in the level of participation of women in STEM,” Dr Kanga said. “This is vitally important to secure Australia’s future as a technologically advanced nation.” 

“The Advisory Group will champion diversity and inclusion, and help shape an immersive program for scholarship recipients, exposing them to inclusive leaders, programs, networks and organisations, that nurture and support their professional development and future careers.” 

Kylie Walker, ATSE’s CEO, said the project has so far received a lot of support from the STEM community. 

“There is genuine excitement for this program, and its potential to transform the standing of women in STEM careers,” Walker said

“Elevate must be designed with partners across the very broad range of Australian sectors that rely on a highly skilled STEM workforce; we’re designing the program to meet Australia’s skills demand by supporting diverse women to pursue tertiary education and careers in STEM, and by propelling them into leadership.” 

Walker explained that the program will be divided into three parts.

“The first, Education and Impact, will support scholars to become Australia’s future leaders in STEM research and commercialisation. Second, Skills Building, puts the focus on professional development, mentoring and exposure to the innovation pipeline.”

“Third – Leadership – will accelerate women’s career trajectories into senior leadership and support them as mentors, board directors, and influencers, stimulating more women-led decision-making throughout the STEM ecosystem.” 

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, Women in STEM Ambassador, who is also part of the Advisory Group, believes the program will make a big impact on women’s involvement in STEM. 

“The power of this Advisory Group is the broad range of expertise of its members and their profound interest in the issues faced by women in STEM,” she said. “Their collective vision and focus on solutions will drive real change in STEM disciplines.” 

The full list of members of the Elevate Advisory Group are: 

Dr Marlene Kanga AO FTSE – co-chair
Dr Adi Paterson FTSE – co-chair
Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith – Women in STEM Ambassador
Shanan Gillies – Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Beata Khaidurova – FB Rice
Scarlet Kong – DMTC
Dr Morley Muse – Women in STEMM Australia
Dr Udani Reets – Women in Leadership Development (WILD)
Luke Sheehy – the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN)
Dr Frazer Thorpe – Cooperative Research Australia
Professor Sumeet Walia – Science & Technology Australia
Dr Julie Wheway – gemaker
Sally-Ann Williams – Cicada Innovations
Jan Mason – Chief Executive Women (CEW)
Kylie Walker – CEO, ATSE
Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea – director, STEM Careers Strategy, ATSE 

Stay Smart! Get Savvy!

Get Women's Agenda in your inbox