Women in Science Symposium

For International Women’s day 2018

Image of a female student raising her hand in class

In partnership with UNSW, our Symposium will encourage girls to embark on careers in science. Photo: (c) Maja Baska 2014.

  • 23 March 2018 SOLD OUT

    23 March 2018 SOLD OUT

    On Friday 23rd of March the Australian National Maritime Museum together with the University of New South Wales and Science 50:50 will be running the annual Women in Science Symposium. The aim is to encourage high school girls to look beyond the lab coats and to see the possibilities for careers in science. 


    This free symposium for high school girls will be presented at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Students can bring or buy their own lunch from the range of options nearby in the lunch break.


    Participants will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of some of our most inspiring scientific minds. This is also a forum for the sharing of ideas and an opportunity to explore the museum’s collections while guided by one of the museums educators.


    Groups will rotate through two sessions – a Young Scientist’s talk and exclusive tours through the Museum with activities. 


    Blue Group

    Red Group


    Registration opens


    Young Scientists talks in lecture theatre

    Museum tour and activities




    Museum tour and activities

    Young Scientists talks in lecture theatre


    Event conclusion

    Event information

    Who: Targeting female stage 5/6 students

    Date: Friday 23 March

    Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm


    Where: Australian National Maritime Museum. See our Plan Your Visit page for everything you need to know about a trip to the museum.

    Bookings: For more information please contact our Booking Officer on 9298 3655 or bookings@anmm.gov.au

    Teachers can choose which colour group they would like at the time of booking, however group allocation is on a first come first served basis.

    On Twitter? Follow @ANMMedu and join the conversation with the hashtags #science5050 #unswscience #anmm

    Live video streaming

    Women in science panel

    We will be streaming both of the Young Scientists talks via YouTube live and both morning and afternoon talks will be available via YouTube after the event.

    Register now for the morning session

    Register now for the afternoon session

    Morning Presenters

    Nicky Warton 

    Nicky Warton

    Nicky completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at UNSW in 2016. With a major in Geography, she studied the physical processes that occur in the environment, as well as how humans interact with the world around them. In her Honours year, Nicky focused her study on the coastal environment and explored methods of beach safety education. Since finishing her degree, Nicky spent a year working in research looking at the coastal environment and in particular beach safety. More recently she has been working in environmental consultancy.

    Adrienne Harrison-Gatt

    Adrienne Harrison-Gatt

    Adrienne completed honours in 2009 in Marine Ecology (UNSW FAMER lab & NSW DPI) and followed her passion for aquatic ecology, particularly invertebrates in her professional career. She has volunteered at the Australian Museum’s Marine Invertebrate Research division and ha has been employed by B&L Marine Science, UNSW, Office of Water and Sydney Water. She currently works in the Aquatic Ecology team at Sydney Water and has been involved in method development, quality management and long-term ecology monitoring since 2010.

    Sarah Reeves

    Sarah Reeves
    Sarah Reeves is a science curator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum). She holds a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics and Chemistry, and a PhD in Astronomy, from the University of Sydney. For her thesis she studied how galaxies grow and evolve over billions of years using giant radio telescopes like Parkes (‘The Dish’). While studying, she also worked as a tour guide at Sydney Observatory where she discovered a passion for science communication. She now enjoys sharing her love of science with a much wider audience, through the Museum’s collection and exhibitions.

    Paulina Dziuda


    Paulina is an analytics professional, interested in how to make a difference by using data and analytics. For the last 9 years she has been working for SAS, analytics software company that helps organizations make the kinds of important decisions that drive change each and every day – like how to capture the bad guys, keep kids safe, provide best services to customers, support sport champions and even ensure that victims of natural disasters have access to food.

    Paulina obtained her Master degrees in Quantitative Economics and Finance from Warsaw School of Economics and enjoys all sort of outdoor activities, which is what brought her to Australia a few years ago.

    Erin Prince

    Erin Prince

    Erin Prince is a fourth year student of Science/ Arts at UNSW. 
    She majors in Pharmacology and Japanese. 
    Erin chose to undertake a STEM degree at University through an interest in learning about creating the future. 
    Her pharmacology major allows her to understand disease, disease prevention, pandemics, drugs and public health. 
    Throughout her time at University, Erin has been involved in short courses abroad to India and Singapore. 
    She hopes to work for the World Health Organisation in the future.

    Lisa Williams

    Lisa Williams

    Dr Lisa A. Williams is a social psychologist interested in the dynamics between emotional experience and social interaction. Much of her research focuses on positive emotions that arise in the context of social interactions – namely pride, gratitude, and compassion — and how those emotions, in turn, promote adaptive behaviours at the interpersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, and societal levels. She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at UNSW Sydney.

    Afternoon Presenters

    Tilly Boleyn

    Tilly Boleyn

    Tilly Boleyn is a MAAS Curator focused mainly on science/health/medicine. She’s passionate about issues of equity in the delivery of health services, highlighting pseudoscience, science communication/education, and how art/science collaborations can contribute to knowledge. Basically, she is a massive nerd who’s curious about the world and everything in it.

    Catherine Isaac

    Catherine Isaac 

    Catherine Isaac graduated from UNSW in 2016 with a Bachelors of Materials Science and Masters of Biomedical Engineering. During her degree she researched novel high entropy alloys and spent a summer investigating the temperature dependence of piezoelectrics’ magnetic properties at North Carolina State University.

    For the past year she has been working as a graduate engineer at Cochlear and has recently transitioned to her permanent position as a mechanical engineer in the Implant Research & Development Department


    Ayse Dereli

    Ayse Dereli
    Born in Turkey, raised in Brussels, Belgium, Ayse picked up an early passion for science and teaching. Ayse Dereli obtained her BSci (Adv) degree at the University of Sydney majoring in physiology and pharmacology and completed Hons (1) at Westmead Hospital.  She is currently in her second year of PhD at UNSW. Her research interests centre around nerve, brain and behavior. She taught Physiology to first and second year of Med students in Turkey, now she enjoys teaching at UNSW and taking part in various UNSW outreach programs including Brain Awareness Week and Women on Mars.  Apart from teaching and spending countless hours in the lab, Ayse enjoys traveling, reading French books and spending time with her three-year-old son.

  • Past events

    Past events


    Friday 6 March, from 11.00am

    Girls are born problem solvers and, more than ever, they want to make a difference in their world, making them natural scientists and innovators. It’s up to us to harness their talent and energy with hands-on experiences, real-world role models and a focus on the possibilities that science can make in their lives and the lives of others”.
    – Eileen Sweeney, 2008

    "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."
    – Carl Sagan, Scientist and Astronomer (1934-1996)

    With the current research indicating a trend for young female students to opt out of science in the senior secondary years, the Australian National Maritime Museum in conjunction with the University of New South Wales is hosting a Women in Science Symposium to encourage high school girls to look beyond the lab coats and see the possibilities for scientific careers.

    The Symposium will also play host to the Sydney launch of UNSW's Science 50:50 program with panellists from industry meeting together to discuss internships, mentoring pathways, networks and competitions for women in science.

    Science 50:50 is a program that aims to inspire young women to pursue degrees and careers in science and technology so they can succeed in an innovation-driven future. Science 50:50 makes the simple point – since half the population is female, why not half the scientists and technologists? By informing and engaging young women with the power of science and technology to solve complex problems and transform lives, and by introducing them to Australian scientists and innovators who are doing just that, Science 50:50 can help recalibrate the gender balance.

    Booking and Video Conference information

    Sorry! Booked out.

    Can’t get here? We're offering a FREE VIDEO CONFERENCE of the 11.30am and 1.30pm sessions. Please register with DARTconnections

    Schedule for the day

    10.00am – Possible Museum and lab tours with Maritime staff, depending on numbers (bookings essential).

    10.45am – Students begin arriving at the museum. 

    11.15am – General introduction.

    11.30am – Presentation by panel scientists with a discussion chaired by Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the SMaRT Centre (Sustainable Materials Research & Technology) and Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations) faculty of Science, UNSW.

    12.30pm – Lunch break / Museum and lab tours with Maritime staff, depending on numbers (bookings essential).

    1.30pm  – UNSW's Science 50:50 program launch. 

    1.40pm Keynote address by Professor Merlin Crossley, Dean UNSW Science.

    1.50pm – Industry talks with partners CSIRO, IBM, Cochlear, Woolworths, Arrium, Brickworks, Australian Museum Research Institute, Global Product Stewardship Council.

    2.30pm – Q&A and panel discussion hosted by Prof. Veena Sahajwalla

    3.00pm – Afternoon tea. Industry meet and greet afternoon tea proudly supported by Arrium.

    Presenters / Panellists

     Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla
    Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla
    Director of the SMaRT Centre (Sustainable Materials Research & Technology) and Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations) faculty of Science, UNSW.

    Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla’s research interests include sustainability of materials and processes with emphasis on environmental benefits. She is an international award winning engineer who has widely presented on her research and experiences throughout the world and has published in excess of 200 papers in journals and conference proceedings. As the Director of the SMaRT Centre (Sustainable Materials Research & Technology) and Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations) faculty of Science, UNSW, Veena provides leadership in research programs on sustainable materials, with strong emphasis on the science urgently needed to enhance sustainability.

    She is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow (2014). In 2013, Veena won AIST Howe Memorial Lecture Award. In 2012 she was named Overall Winner of the Australian Innovation Challenge Awards for tackling real world problems with imaginative solutions that offer positive environmental and community benefits. She was awarded the 2012 Banksia Award, the GE Eco Innovation Award for Individual Excellence, and the 2012 CRC Australian Collaborative Innovation Award.  She also won the won the National Nokia Business Innovation Award and the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award from the Indian Government in 2011. In 2005 she received the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.

    Veena has a MASc, Metals and Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada; and PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, USA.

     Dr Katherine Dafforn
    Dr Katherine Dafforn
    Researcher at the University of New South Wales and Sydney Institute of Marine Science

    “My marine career aspirations began at the age of 17 on a chilly dive in Cornwall, UK. After high school I spent 2 years collecting marine experience and qualifications in the Caribbean and the Whitsunday Islands. My academic career has been based at UNSW, but I have collaborated with researchers in Canada, Italy and Singapore. My research interests include invasive species, marine artificial structures, green engineering, stormwater pollution, estuary health monitoring tools, marine debris and microplastics. A ‘normal’ workday for me could include meetings with students, reading scientific literature, exploring data or fieldwork on and under the water."

     Dr Inke Falkner
    Dr Inke Falkner
    Community outreach coordinator at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science

    “I am a marine biologist by training and a PhD in marine science brought me to Australia. After a short stint in research and working as a consultant for Geoscience Australia I began working in science outreach and communication coordinated at the University of Sydney. In this role I developed a multidisciplinary postgraduate program in marine science and management and hosted numerous outreach events. In August 2012 I was offered the position of community outreach coordinator at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. I have since developed an extensive marine science program for primary and high school students, an educational harbour cruise featuring the amazing underwater world of Sydney Harbour and am currently curating the content for an interpretive centre at the Institute."

     Dr. Katy Croff Bell
    Dr Katy Croff Bell, Ph.D.
    Expedition Leader Vice President & Chief Scientist Ocean Exploration Trust

    Dr. Katy Croff Bell is an ocean explorer, using deep sea technology to explore what lies at the depths of the ocean. Over the past thirteen years, she has participated in or led more than 25 oceanographic and archaeological projects. Katy’s current work involves the utilization of telepresence technology on ocean exploration projects for remote science and education. She is Chief Scientist of the Nautilus Exploration Program, working with a large team to implement this technology on multidisciplinary expeditions to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The expedition will be shared with the world live, revealing the wonders of the undersea world in real time, in an effort to engage and inspire a new generation of young explorers.

    Katy received her S.B. from MIT in Ocean Engineering in 2000. In 2001, she was a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, after which she completed her Master's degree in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton. Katy completed her Ph.D. in Geological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in 2011. She is a 2006 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and 2014 MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow.

     Rebecca Dallwitz
    Rebecca Dallwitz
    ANMM conservator

    Rebecca Dallwitz has worked at the Australian National Maritime Museum for 4 years as an objects conservator, and runs the maritime archaeological conservation program.  She previously worked for organisations including the Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Australia.  She completed an MA (Cultural Materials Conservation) at the University of Melbourne in 2007.  Her masters thesis looked at the community use and care of processional Chinese dragons in Melbourne.  She is the third generation of her family to work in a science-based discipline.

     Micheline Nicole Jenner
    Mrs. Micheline-Nicole Jenner
    Marine Biologist and Co-Principal Investigator, Centre for Whale Research (Western Australia) Inc.

    Due to work commitments Micheline will no longer be to attend, however, we will show a 5 minute video on Micheline and her work.

    Born in Double Bay, NSW from 15 months of age Micheline grew up in Auckland, NZ attending the University of Auckland, NZ where she received a B.Sc. in Zoology in 1985 and in 1987 an M.Sc. in Marine Biology.

    Micheline has worked professionally as a cetacean researcher since 1987, firstly in Maui, Hawaii where she met Curt, her husband of 25 years. Since 1990 Micheline and Curt have studied humpback whales and pygmy blue whales in Western Australia, forming their research group Centre for Whale Research (WA) Inc. CWR has employed a variety of research techniques including behavioural observations, photo-identification techniques, biopsy sampling and deploying satellite tags to determine life history data and provide integral information for state and federal governments regarding habitat usage by humpback whales and pygmy blue whales.

    Collaborating with colleagues at Curtin University in various research projects, Micheline is a Visiting Adjunct Research Fellow at Curtin University, Western Australia.

    Currently Micheline and Curt support Australian Defence Force exercises with their specialised vessel, and as well, they are able to collect world-class, biological acoustic data across open oceans and coastal seas.

     Astha Singh
    Astha Singh

    Astha Singh completed her Masters in research on Cotton Xanthomonas bacteria from India and PHD in Plant Pathology on White Rust of Brassica crops from University of Sydney, both on a merit scholarships. Astha has presented her work in International conferences in Edinburgh, Lisbon, India and Australia. She has worked as a Teaching fellow at the University of Sydney, Faculty of Ag and Envt, and as a Professional officer at UTS, climate change cluster. Astha has been offered the All India Women’s Fellowship at the Government of India, department of science in 2013.

    She in particular is keen in communicating science to the public in innovative ways and the involvement of women in science is of prime importance and she believes that in today’s world women pursue some of the greatest careers in science. Astha strongly believes in pursuing a passion whether it is agriculture, marine science, environmental science or any other area as females are doing exceptionally well in all.

     Emma Johnson
    Professor Emma Johnston
    Australia's leading investigator of human impacts on marine systems.

    Professor Johnston is a marine ecologist and eco-toxicologist at UNSW Australia, where she is Head of the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Group. Her research group investigates the ecology of human impacts in marine systems, and they approach this research from both an ecological and ecotoxicological perspective using field experimentation wherever possible. Recently they've been studying marine bioinvasion, Antarctic marine communities and the health of estauries.

    Professor Johnston is also the inaugural Director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. In 2014 The Australian Academy of Science awarded her the Inaugural Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science.