Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Minister promotes women in science in Tasmania

Senator Kay Patterson, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, today launched in Tasmania a DVD encouraging young female students to pursue the wide field of science as a career option.

Senator Patterson joined Braddon Liberal candidate, Mark Baker, a former local secondary school teacher in launching the DVD to coincide with the Science Week in Tasmania.

‘The DVD features remarkable women such as Dr Fiona Wood who invented spray on skin for burns victims and saved the lives of many victims of the Bali bomb attack. It spans areas as diverse as astronomy, health, veterinary sciences and environmental science and proves that science goes beyond the ‘white lab coat’ image,’ Senator Patterson said.

‘These inspiring women share some of their insights regarding their career path and achievements and issues such as the work and family balance.

‘I have benefited from a career in science after completing a PhD in Psychology within the Faculty of Science at Monash University. I am absolutely delighted that we have such prominent women willing to share their stories with young people.

‘I am also thrilled to be meeting Ann Burke, a science teacher from Marist Regional College who has recently won a national Eureka Award for her efforts in inspiring students. Ms Burke is a wonderful role model for her students and I congratulate her on her efforts,’ Senator Patterson said.

The teaching resource and support material called ‘Your Career Your Choice – Look Where Science Can Take You’ encourages young secondary students, predominantly women, to explore careers in science.

The $245,000 project was funded by the Australian Government through the National Leadership Initiative and Other Women’s Programme.

‘The Australian Government wanted to encourage more young women to consider the wide field of science as a career option,’ said Senator Patterson.

‘This Careers Pack has been produced for the free use of schools for career guidance purposes as part of the ‘Your Career, Your Choice’ series.’

The Pack includes:

  • ‘Look Where Science Can Take You’ DVD designed as a tool to celebrate women’s contribution to science and inform and motivate young students – predominantly women – with an interest in science;
  • ‘Look Where Science Can Take You’ Careers Guide, which has been developed with the Science Teachers’ Association;
  • ‘Look Where Science Can Take You’ poster for classroom display; and
  • a feedback form – to let the Government know what the target audiences thought of the DVD so the career information for students can continue to be improved.

‘The Careers Pack will be sent to secondary schools in Tasmania to help them demonstrate to female students the many options they have in terms of their careers.

Information will also be available electronically through the Office of the Status of Women website.

‘Many women have already made significant contributions to the field of science and I am keen to see this increase,’ Senator Patterson said.