Western Australia’s brightest minds recognised at the Premier’s Science Awards

by WA Government News | Aug 14, 2019
  • Seven winners announced at awards ceremony during National Science Week
  • Professor Phil Bland and Professor Robert Newton named as Scientists of the Year
  • Professor Carol Bower inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame 
  • Inaugural Shell Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year named in new category

Western Australia's top science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) researchers, students and engagement initiatives were recognised last night at the 2019 Premier's Science Awards ceremony. 

The 2019 winners are:

  • Professor Phil Bland (Curtin University) and Professor Robert Newton (Edith Cowan University) - joint winners of the Scientist of the Year ($50,000);
  • Dr Adam Cross (Curtin University) - Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year ($10,000);
  • Ms Jessica Kretzmann (The University of Western Australia) - ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year ($10,000);
  • Ms Sharynne Hamilton (The University of Western Australia, Telethon Kids Institute) - Shell Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year ($10,000); and
  • Astrofest and Perth Observatory - joint winners of the Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year ($10,000).

Professor Carol Bower was recognised for her lifelong contribution to child health, most notably her research on folate and neural tube defects which has saved hundreds of children from debilitating birth defects.

The Premier's Science Awards ceremony is a key event of National Science Week, Australia's largest celebration of STEM. Participation in STEM is an important component of the WA Government's plan for a stronger economy.

In May 2019, the McGowan Government released its State STEM skills strategy, Future jobs, future skills – Driving STEM skills in Western Australia, which aims to build a globally competitive and innovative workforce with the skills to drive WA's technological future and create new job opportunities.

The 2019 Premier's Science Awards are sponsored by Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Woodside and supported by the State's five universities. For more information about the winners and finalists, visit: http://www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/ScienceAwards

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"These Awards recognise the outstanding contribution Western Australian STEM researchers, students and organisations make to our community, not only through their world-leading research and engagement initiatives, but also as role models for people considering careers in STEM.

"Professor Phil Bland has advanced our understanding of the solar system and Professor Newton has improved the quality of life for cancer survivors. Both are highly deserving joint winners of the Scientist of the Year award."

Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:

"STEM is critical to Western Australia's future, and it's fantastic to see the local talent and achievements showcased through these Awards.

"The introduction of a new award category this year highlights the important work of those such as award winner, Ms Sharynne Hamilton, in engaging the Aboriginal community with STEM and acting as a role model for increased diversity in STEM education and careers."

Premier's office - 6552 5000

Minister's office - 6552 6100

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