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State's inspirational women named in awards

03 November 2012
All smiles at ceremony are (from left) guest speaker Jo Kirby, Arrow Energy's Julie Lockyer and USQ's Jacqui McDonald
The best and brightest women in Engineering, Science, Mathematics and Technology were recognised at the Arrow Energy Best of the WEST ceremony held at the University of Southern Queensland last week.

The University of Southern Queensland-sponsored awards highlighted and showcase female achievement in areas that are typically male-dominated.

Go WEST (Go Women in Engineering Science and Technology) project leader Dr Petrea Redmond said she was very proud of the calibre of entrants this year.

‘The awards are an opportunity for schools, business and industry to promote high-achieving females and their equity programs and provide role models of women who are or have the potential to be high-achievers,’ she said.

‘The nominations cover industry, business, school and university sectors.

Guest speaker was Jo Kirby who was the Chair of Women for Engineering Queensland and is currently the Ambassador and Mentor Program Coordinator on the Power of Engineering Committee, a program for female students in Years 9 and 10 to experience first-hand what an engineering career would be like.

‘Ms Kirby was very dynamic and realistic about her journey,’ Dr Redmond said.

‘She was a great example of how challenges can arise but you have to move past them.’

This year also marks the first industry sponsor to get behind the awards (Arrow Energy) and a brand new award category added this year, the Arrow Energy Brighter Futures Award.

‘The Arrow Energy Brighter Futures Award aims to encourage women with children to return to study in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),’ Dr Redmond said.

This year the award was won by Maryborough resident Claire Barsby.

Award categories include different categories for secondary school students, USQ students, professional and business groups, partnerships and a USQ Indigenous award.

This year’s Indigenous award was won by the inspirational Victoria Close, a 73 year old legally blind student who overcame a very difficult childhood and was awarded a Queensland Government Smart Futures PhD Scholarship in 2009.

Dr Redmond said she anticipated the awards will return next year and is also planning a new project that will support mature age students returning to study in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Dr Redmond said she’d like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers, attendees, nominees and the USQ Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor for making this year’s awards possible.

For more information on the awards, visit www.usq.edu.au/gowest/bowa.

Recipients of the 2012 awards were as follows:

Go WEST Secondary School Student Award - Science Elaiza Luker, St Saviour’s College

Go WEST Secondary School Student Award - Mathematics Bethany Rognoni, Centenary Heights State High School

Go WEST Secondary School Student Award – (Highly Commended winner) Jacquelyn Jolly, Maryborough State High School

Go WEST USQ Student Award - Sciences Michelle Fisher, USQ Fraser Coast

Go WEST USQ Student Award – Mathematics Lucy Galea, USQ Toowoomba


Go WEST USQ Student Award - Technology Angela Howarth, USQ Cairns

Go WEST USQ Student Award - Community Involvement Emma Otto, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST USQ Student Award Innovative Use of Digital Technology for Learning Faeka El Sayed, Faculty of Business & Law, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST Professional/Business Award – Engineering and Surveying Nadine Story, Toowoomba Regional Council

Go WEST Professional/Business Award - Research Ruth Mossad, Faculty of Engineering & Surveying, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST Professional/Business Award – Technology (Highly Commended Award winner) Carola Hobohm, Faculty of Sciences, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST Professional/Business Award - Access & Equity Tania van den Ancker, HOD Science - St Saviour’s College

Go WEST Professional/Business Award – Innovative Use of Technologies (Highly Commended Award winner) Danielle Griffin, teacher - Centenary Heights State High School


Go WEST Partnerships Award - Kay Lembo, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST Partnerships Award – (Highly Commended Winner) Yan Li, Faculty of Sciences, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST USQ Indigenous Award - Victoria Close, Faculty of Education, USQ Toowoomba

Go WEST Professional/Business Award - Vice-Chancellor’s Community Project Robyn Pollock (Toowoomba Regional Council) & Alison Curtis (USQ Toowoomba)

Arrow Energy Brighter Futures Award - Claire Barsby, TPP, Maryborough

Media contact:

Jim Campbell, jim.campbell@usq.edu.au, 07 4631 2977


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