The first of the Science Series talks, ‘Women in STEM’ was held in May, overlooking the Powerhouse Parramatta construction site. The talk was chaired by Ita Buttrose AC OBE, in conversation with 2022 NSW Australian of the Year, Professor Veena Sahajwalla.
Veena is famed for inventing Polymer Injection Technology, also known as Green Steel, which repurposes used tyres to replace coal in the production of steel. As a self-confessed ‘waste queen’, Veena discussed her life of curiosity, and how solving life’s little puzzles led her to be one of Australia’s most renowned recycling innovators.
Eager school students from Macarthur Girls High School, East Hills Technology High School and Chester Hill High School had the opportunity to ask Veena questions, which resulted in a couple of tears from the audience as Veena and Ita passionately conveyed the importance of self-belief and strength of character in tackling industry roadblocks.
Veena has been vocal in raising the profile of women within STEM industries, and comfortably shared her personal experience with discrimination and industry barriers.
The Science Series presents an opportunity for audiences to engage with STEM professionals in intimate settings. The talks are designed to align with the NSW Global Strategy and educate audiences on the importance of providing support to STEM industries, to grow interest in these sectors.
Powerhouse Parramatta will provide pathways to support STEM students and stimulate the pipeline of STEM graduates in Australia.