Inspiring Australia NSW highlights

Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Inspiring Australia
Connecting communities with
science, technology and innovation
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
knowledge ..




                                                Sharing STEM
                                                knowledge
                                                with diverse
                                                communities




        Cover image: The Medieval Bundanon, a Siteworks performance at
        Bundanon Trust. Photo by Mark Newsham.
                B
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Inspiring Australia
Inspiring Australia is the national strategy for public
engagement with science, technology and innovation and plays
a key leadership role in shaping the Australian Government’s
vision for a society engaged in and enriched by science.

Using a ‘National Framework – Local Action’ approach,
Inspiring Australia delivers effective, high-impact and             “Knowledge, ideas
coordinated science engagement activities that build on             and innovation are the
existing achievements, draw on the strengths of the science
                                                                    ultimate renewable
sector and work in partnership with diverse communities. It
promotes consistent approaches to large scale campaigns like        resources that generate
National Science Week while also developing activities that         positive returns, over and
meet local needs.                                                   over again.”

With the support of State and Territory Governments,
                                                                    Professor Emma Johnston AO
the initiative promotes the value of science, technology,
                                                                    Dean of Science UNSW
engineering and maths (STEM) to the nation’s economic and
                                                                    National Press Club, 2018.
social wellbeing. Collaborative partnerships and stakeholder
networks extend the reach of existing activities, identify
gaps and leverage non-Government support for science
engagement and advocacy.

Working with the country’s science and research agencies,
education providers, industry and business and the cultural
sector, Inspiring Australia’s purpose is to raise the profile
of scientists and STEM opportunities. By increasing public
engagement with science, Inspiring Australia creates
opportunities for Australians everywhere to get involved in
STEM.

In New South Wales, Inspiring Australia’s focus is to connect
science and engineering researchers to big audiences.
Hundreds of statewide partners collaborate as Regional
Science Hubs to inspire communities with memorable and
engaging events that showcase scientific and technological
discovery. The welcoming programs they deliver encourage
diverse audiences to develop critical thinking skills, improve            Minute, a Siteworks microscopy
their scientific literacy and respond to the rapid change that is        performance at Bundanon Trust.
                                                                                   Photo by Heidrun Lohr.
redefining the world and our place in it.




                                                                                              1
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Connecting
Developing an ecosystem of
committed STEM advocates.




                                                               Commercialising Research
                                                               Forum at Sydney School of
                                                               Entrepreneurship
                                                               Photo by David Vagg.


Inspiring Australia seeks to improve the       Another priority is sharing ideas and
impact and reach of scientific knowledge.      knowledge amongst stakeholders and building
Its New South Wales network generates          local capacity to deliver STEM programs.
enormous social, cultural, educational
and economic impact - from increased           This is achieved by offering:
engagement with local research and the
development of cross-sector partnerships to    • Networking events to inform stakeholders
                                                 across the research, business, government
evidence-based advocacy, artistic creations,
                                                 and community sectors of science and
community festivals and events.                  innovation policy development, grant
                                                 opportunities and other relevant
The statewide initiative creates leadership      information.
opportunities for communities to develop
science engagement programs that appeal        • Presentation skills training for researchers.
to local audiences. By providing community
                                               • Professional development for partners.
access to scientists, Inspiring Australia’s
welcoming programs demonstrate the value       • Regional representation in campaigns like
of STEM skills and help improve scientific       National Science Week.
literacy, with a focus on engaging people
who may not have opportunities to discover     • Promotion and sharing of news and
science.                                         opportunities in national online channels.




2
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Consolidating


In six years, with the support of the
New South Wales and Commonwealth
Governments and host institution the
University of Sydney, Inspiring Australia NSW
has created a statewide network that includes
22 Regional Science Hubs and an array of
valuable partnerships with museums, venues,
industry groups, cultural associations and
festivals.

921 organisations are involved in this low-
cost program model where each dollar of
investment leverages at least three times its
value in partner funding as well as in-kind
support.


• In 2018, Commonwealth program funding
  of $317,000 leveraged $1.2 Million additional
  funding as well as in-kind support.
• 297,000 people attended 779 events
  that were supported or initiated
  by Inspiring Australia NSW.
• Thousands more were engaged
  through legacy content – from videos,
  podcasts, theatrical performances and           Top: This Sounds like Science at
  websites to AR and VR apps, festivals,                         City Recital Hall
  workshops and art projects.
                                                     Bottom: The Science Tent at
                                                          Splendour in the Grass
Many art-science projects and creative event               Photos by David Vagg.
formats supported by Inspiring Australia NSW
funding continue to delight audiences around
Australia and internationally.




                                                                                3
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Transforming
Inspiring Australia NSW works with
individuals and organisations that
are passionate about improving
their communities and promoting
the central place of science in our
economic and social wellbeing.




Positioning science and technology at the heart of Australia’s
cultural identity, Inspiring Australia NSW advocates for the
inclusion of research themes and scientists in prominent public
programs such as VIVID and the Spark Festival of Australian
startups and provides scientists with an influential voice in
important public conversations.




Dr Alice Motion with two young scientists.
Photo by Jackie Randles

4
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Inspiring Australia NSW supports public
engagement programs that share its
vision to improve the impact and reach
of Australian research knowledge,
build scientific literacy and help ensure
that citizens are informed, educated
and look to evidence-based
information when making important
decisions.

Regional Science Hubs facilitate unique
opportunities for scientists
to participate in regional forums and
listen to community concerns.
I


       Top: Commercialising
         Research Forum at
            Sydney School of
          Entrepreneurship

     Middle: Sydney Science
      Festival 2018 program
                      launch

   Right: The Science Tent at
      Splendour in the Grass

       Photos by David Vagg



                                            5
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Sydney Science
Festival
A standout example of how Inspiring Australia NSW fosters collaboration to improve
impact is Sydney Science Festival, a partnership framework established in 2015
to amplify the reach of National Science Week across Sydney. Now produced
by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, with funding, engagement and
advocacy support from Inspiring Australia NSW, the Festival provides audiences in
the Greater Sydney Region with access to welcoming science experiences in parks,
museums and libraries, on university campuses and at prestigious venues.

Through building citywide collaboration, Inspiring Australia NSW has increased
opportunities for community members to connect with Sydney’s vibrant research
culture and be inspired by cutting edge science. Universities, museums and libraries
celebrate science alongside iconic venues including Sydney Opera House, Taronga
Zoo, Art Gallery of NSW, City Recital Hall, Sydney Olympic Park, Centennial Park, the
Royal Botanic Garden and the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan. Tech Expos
pop up in shopping centres and the Indigenous Science Experience at Redfern
explores science and culture through activities led by Indigenous elders and students
alongside non-Indigenous scientists.




                                                      Earth dinosaur at Science in the Swamp. Image
                                                      courtesy of Centennial Park.
6                                                     The pump track at the Innovation Games. Image
                                                      courtesy of Sydney Olympic Park.
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
Sydney Science Festival images by
                           Inspiring Australia NSW.
         Infographic courtesy of Museum of Applied
                                 Arts and Sciences.




SYDNEY SCIENCE FESTIVAL 7-19 AUG 2018

AUDIENCE MEMBERS
85,424
 54%                 21%                   26%
                                                                    85,424

                                                                      72,994

                                                                             62,270
                                                                                                   2018
                                                                                                   2017
                                                                                                   2016
 Attended            Attended              Attended
 one event           two events            three events                               39,300       2015


                                                      PROGRAM PARTNERS
         LOCAL SCIENTISTS         EVENTS
EVENTS




          & RESEARCHERS




                                                      38
                                                      NEW
                                                                                     81
                                                                                     TOTAL
             418                  202                 Program Partners               Program Partners


                                                                                                          7

AUDIENCE PROFILE
                                                                              16%
                                                                            North Shore
                                                                             and Hills

                                                           16%                            17%
50% 22% 29% 29%                                           Western     17%         5%      Sydney
Inspiring Australia NSW highlights
A growing
      network ...
                                        2021 Target
                                       500,000 attendees
                                       30 Science Hubs
                       2018            1500 partners
                                       1,200 events
                                       $500,000 raises further $2 Million
     297,000 attendees
                  22 Science Hubs
                      921 partners
                        779 events
$317,000 raises further $1.2 Million

                                       2016
                                       100,800 attendees
                                       20 Science Hubs
                       2014            620 partners
                                       416 events
                                       $158,000 raises further $208,000
      40,000 attendees
                 14 Science Hubs
                    250 partners
                      220 events
  $75,000 raises further $90,000

                                        2013
                                       Inspiring Australia NSW begins
                                       5,200 attendees
                                       8 Science Hubs
                                       45 partners
                                       21 events
                                       $40,000 raises further $40,000



      8
,



NSW Regional
Science Hubs
National framework-local
action
Promoting the importance of building the
country’s STEM capacity in a rapidly evolving,
global innovation system requires national
effort on many levels – particularly at the
grass roots. Inspiring Australia’s NSW Regional
Science Hub network offers a low-cost,
sustainable response to this challenge.
Leveraging three times the value of funding
provided by the State and Commonwealth
Governments, Regional Science Hubs provide a
focal point for local program activity.




                                                       “Science is of limited
                                                                worth without
                                                   community engagement:
                                                           if we want science
                                                        to be supported and
                                                   appreciated in Australia,
                                                          it is critical we talk
                                                  directly to the community
                                                    about the burning issues
                                                                    of the day.”

                                                     Professor Edward C. Holmes,
                                                       Australian Laureate
                                                                        9 Fellow,
                                                           The Royal Society (UK).
Collaborating


The New South Wales network enables diverse
communities to explore scientific issues, build
scientific literacy and access STEM knowledge.


Inspiring Australia NSW’s engagement strategy is underpinned by Regional Science Hubs that
involve at least three partners working together to present local engagement experiences
addressing STEM themes. NSW Science Grants provide funding that is matched by partner support
and investment. This model builds a strong ecosystem while developing local skills and connecting
STEM knowledge to diverse communities through creative and engaging public programs.

With modest funding support, Regional Science Hubs achieve Inspiring Australia’s objective to
promote pubic engagement with science, technology and innovation using a National Framework-
Local Action approach:


• Communities create, collaborate and participate in regional programs.
• Scientists and technologists connect with a diverse public, improving their communication skills.
• Memorable events build scientific literacy and encourage STEM careers.
• Inspiring Australia funding supports enduring partnerships and builds capacity in STEM.




Limelight: Lights Camera Action! in Albury Wodonga. Photo by Nat Ord Manifesto Photography

10
Riverina Science Festival. Photo by
                                                             Jackie Cooper, Jack of Hearts Studio.



Regular public programs deliver long-term,       Through promoting curiosity, creativity
cumulative effects, described by participating   and critical thinking as part of
partners as:                                     mainstream culture, often in a creative,
                                                 entertainment context, Regional Science
• Forging deep connections and                   Hubs communicate the positive impact
  understanding how science                      Australia’s science and research knowledge
  relates to all aspects of life.                has in the world. Local audiences
                                                 appreciate having access to scientists
• Creating opportunities for people to
                                                 and are inspired by learning about the
  acquire and enjoy new knowledge.
                                                 global applications of their work.
• Providing a compelling vision for
  securing a sustainable future.
• Responding to the global
  challenges of climate change.
• Growing the pool of STEM-qualified people      “Working together across
  who will be able to perform future jobs.       our community and
• Engaging the public with STEM issues to        inviting input from local
  improve public understanding of science        experts enables us to create
  and to create a more aware and engaged
                                                 richer, deeper experiences
  society.
                                                 for people.”

                                                 Christine Bolton,
                                                 Riverina Science Hub.




                                                                                                11
Celebrating
Regional festivals provide a focal point for local research talent
alongside invited guests, uniting stakeholders with an interest in STEM
and often leading to ongoing public programs.

Hunter Science Festival has brought 31           Lismore’s popular Arts Vs Science Festival
organsiations together that now deliver          continues throughout the year as Science
year-round science outreach programs from        Walks Science Talks, an event series with a
Newcastle to Lake Macquarie and Scone.           focus on sustainability and environmental
                                                 science through the lens of creativity and
                                                 innovation.

Riverina Science Festival has led to dozens of   The Science Tent at Splendour in the Grass
STEM activities being presented throughout       sees leading researchers from across Australia
the year. From Nerd Nites at the pub to Little   present talks and demonstrations at this
Bangs for pre-schoolers and CodeClub at the      popular three-day music festival that attracts
library, year-round programs engage all ages     135,000 young people and is an annual
and also offer a focus on Indigenous             highlight in the state’s destination events
knowledge.                                       calendar.




                                                                 Art Vs Science in Lismore,
                                                                 The Science Tent at
                                                                 Splendour in the Grass and
                                                                 Riverina Science Festival.
                                                                 Photos by Kristin den Exter,
                                                                 Elise Derwin and
                                                                 Jackie Cooper.




12
Participating organisations describe     “Maintaining skills in STEM is not
Regional Science Hubs as:
                                         only about education and career
                                         development but also about engaging
• A network of enthusiastic groups
  and individuals passionate             the Australian community with
  about sharing the wonder of            science and technology.”
  science in their communities.
• A collective with a shared vision      National Science Statement (2018).
  and passion for engaging all sectors
  of the community in STEM and
  its potential to improve lives.
• Dynamic partnerships dedicated
  to producing engaging
  science programs that people
  want to participate in.
• Influential working groups of
  passionate STEM champions.

Through creating community
engagement experiences that are
relevant, thought-provoking and often
entertaining, Regional Science Hubs
promote positive attitudes towards
STEM.

They increase the confidence and         Participants in the Paterson Allyn Williams
skills of parents, teachers and young    Science Hub represent diverse interests,
people to engage with the science        forming a rural network of networks interested
and technology in everyday life and      in exploring both local knowledge and topical
understand its global applications.      science issues. Regular events build in-depth
                                         engagement through informative discussions
By connecting experts with               on topics that make a difference in people’s
community members, Regional              daily lives followed by social get togethers.
Science Hubs close the gap between       Among activities are panel discussions, field
science and society.                     days, citizen science activities, film screenings
                                         and hands on experiences. The group also
                                         create media content and legacy programs
                                         such as the introduction of Boomerang Bags
                                         and a Koala survey.

                                         Image courtesy of Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub
                                                                                                 13
Enriching




                                                                             Photo by Elise Derwin


Enduring partnerships = long-term                Professional skills = quality engagement
collaborations                                   Partners contribute professional skills,
Inspiring Australia NSW only offers funding to   ensuring best practice science engagement
initiatives that sustain lasting partnerships.   and quality, high impact programs.
Robust networks enable locally relevant
programming to evolve over time, attracting      Participation = professional development
strong audiences.                                Inspiring NSW offers network partners
                                                 professional development and high level
Partnership model = increased return on          networking opportunities.
investment
Grant funding leverages three times its value    Public awareness = increased investment
through cash and in-kind support from            Voters who understand the difference
community partners, including venues, skills,    research makes are likely to support
marketing and talent.                            increased public investment in STEM.
                                                 Businesses that discover the potential
Local networks = stronger communities            of research collaboration may invest in
Regional Science Hubs are self-managed and       partnerships to help them achieve their goals.
administered, developing skills and regional
cooperation while reducing competition.


14
Creating

Art/science collaborations translate scientific
knowledge in unexpected and memorable ways, raising
the profile of scientists and creating new art works.

Ambitious projects supported by Inspiring Australia NSW have led
to significant arts funding, commissions and further opportunities
for scientists to translate their research through the arts, including
internationally and via online documentation.




Neural Knitworks brings neuroscientists
together with community members to
make textile neurons, forge new neural
pathways in their brains and discuss
neuroscience research. In 2014, two
thousand handmade neurons were
displayed in a giant brain sculpture at
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery.

Since then, Neural Knitworks has engaged
dozens of Australian and international
neuroscientists and hundreds of
communities across Australia and                             Neural Knitworks: Craft a Healthy Brain.
                                                                           Photos by Silversalt and
internationally. Several large-scale                                  Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
brain installations have been created at
well-attended events, including at the
celebrated Cambridge Science Festival in
the UK.
                                                                                                        15
Sounds like Science at City Recital Hall Sydney
brings top researchers to the stage alongside
musicians to address topics such as maths,
the neurobiology of listening, room acoustics,
quantum physics, astrophysics, anxiety,
memory and evolutionary biology. Each event
connects researchers with audiences of up
to 1100 people. Social media, print and radio
coverage extend the engagement value of this
series presented in partnership with one of
Sydney’s celebrated venues.




From top: Prof. David Reilly, A/Prof. Muireann Irish, Dr Sandra Garrido
and Prof Katherine Boydell. Photos by David Vagg.

16
Infinity Minus One is a dancework by Taiwanese choreographer Su Wen-
Chi that was inspired by a residency at CERN. At the Liveworks Festival of
experimental art, Wen-Chi joined astrophysicist Professor Geraint Lewis in
a public conversation about the vast scale of the universe.




“The Universe is where science
gets to meet infinity, infinite
space and infinite time. In
uniting with the arts, we can
convey these mind-bending
concepts beyond the pages of
textbooks and views through
telescopes, and bring the wonder
of the cosmos to all.”

Professor Geraint F Lewis,
University of Sydney.
                                                       Photos by Etang Chen, courtesy of Su Wen-Chi.

                                                                                                  17
Siteworks is Bundanon’s annual spring
event that brings scientists, artists and
community voices together in a unique
natural environment to share knowledge
and appreciate the wonder of the world.
Participants experience interconnectedness
- of nature and culture, art and science,
history and geology – with scientists leading
discussions alongside unforgettable,
participatory performances by artists.

                                                                             Photo by Katie Rivers



                                                 The CORRIDOR project based near Cowra
                                                 NSW explores the science, technology and
                                                 Indigenous knowledge of the Central West
                                                 through the arts. From recreating a Devonian
                                                 billabong using 3D animations, facilitating a
                                                 makespace and running scientific illustration
                                                 workshops to presenting science-themed
                                                 performances in a historic woolshed and
                                                 creating short films about local STEM talent,
                                                 the CORRIDOR project’s creative STEAM
                                                 approach brings science to life.


Photo courtesy of the CORRIDOR project




                                                Sky Trails connected community members in
                                                Young, Goulburn and Picton with Indigenous
                                                and Islamic artists, scholars and astronomers
                                                at a series of evening astronomy discussions.
                                                Students created artworks and the Macarthur
                                                Astronomical Society provided telescopes to
                                                allow participants to explore the night sky.




Photo courtesy of Southern Tablelands Arts




18
Eaton Gorge Theatre Company
works with researchers to create
interactive performances on
science themes. From stories
based on research findings that
inspire action on endangered
species to recreating the lives
of notable scientific heroes, its
entertaining, interactive approach
appeals to audiences of all ages.
Each new work adds to a rich
store of local STEM engagement
capital that can be performed and
toured.




                                      Photo courtesy of Murray Arts




                                                                      Photo by Prof. Katherine
                                                                      Boydell, the Black Dog
                                                                      Institute.

Body Mapping offered the Black Dog Institute’s researchers
a chance to connect with artists and explore how anxiety is
experienced in the body through drawing. Works created at
Sydney Science Festival formed the basis of a sculpture later
presented at VIVID. An ongoing partnership also emerged
between Inspiring Australia NSW and The Big Anxiety Festival.


                                                                                                 19
Commercialising
Inspiring Australia NSW brings science and
technology into the Spark Festival of Australian
startups, supported by Jobs for NSW.


Inspiring Australia NSW’s 2017 Commercialising Research forum brought 40
science and technology researchers from Sydney’s universities, Data61 and the
CSIRO together with venture capitalists and research-based startups to discuss
what it would take to create more effective relationships between academia and
industry.

The 2018 Spin on Spinouts event at Sydney Startup Hub showcased companies
developed though research-industry partnerships to commercialise knowledge
created at CSIRO’s Data61. Participants shared experiences of cross sector
collaborations with audience members keen to explore startup opportunities.

In the regions, Science Hubs presents innovative STEM programs that have the
potential to create commercial outcomes, including as part of National Science
Week, citizen science projects, library programs, talks in pubs and clubs and
activities created with the local startup community.


Inspiring Australia NSW supported Australia’s first Regional
Innovation Week held in the Bega Valley in 2016. The week-lomg
festival saw entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts join
ecologists, schools and business leaders at a range of events
designed to build digital skills and create jobs. Questacon’s
Smart Skills team was on hand with free robotics and coding
activities and a Sea Change StartUp Camp developed novel
solutions to local challenges. These activities paved the way for
the Bega Valley Innovation Hub launched in 2019.

Photo by Doug Reckord, Sapphire Coast Science Hub




20
Educating
Promoting STEM education and science literacy
through entertaining and educational experiences
for all ages.



              “Great program for young and old! I love that events
               are free, local and family friendly. They bring the
            community together to get educated and network while
                    supporting local hospitality businesses.”

                       Science at The Local attendee, Blue Mountains.




STEM education                                   Through its diverse public programs, including
STEM knowledge is critical to healthy            those that feature women in STEM, Inspiring
communities, a thriving economy and a            Australia challenges stereotypes around what
skilled future workforce. Yet Australia faces    kind of person becomes a scientist,
a STEM skills shortage. In New South Wales       promoting diversity and equality.
diverse programs help build STEM knowledge
by exploring its relevance to everyday life at   Scientific literacy
welcoming events.                                In a world driven by rapid technological
                                                 change, it’s increasingly important that
Across the state, community-led programs         people are aware of and understand the
delivered in libraries and museums show how      science behind their choices. Science literacy
science and technology are solving global        leads to informed decisions and helps
challenges. Community members discover           community members distinguish between
how STEM studies can open doors to cool          facts and fiction.
jobs, thrilling careers and inspiring futures.
                                                 Improving scientific literacy requires
Australia’s poor international standing in       long-term effort on many levels. Inspiring
maths and science is a well-documented           Australia’s committed, collaborative
national issue. Fewer students are enrolling     framework enables the delivery of sustainable
in science and technology courses at tertiary    programs that can meet this need and provide
level and rapidly changing workforce needs       access to evidence-based information.
have provoked urgent calls for action to
redress the STEM skills shortage.


                                                                                             21
Students, musicians, ecologists and artists
in Armidale come together to explore local
science themes and create exhibitions at the
New England Regional Art Museum. Using
locally developed tree sensors that monitor
sap flow and collect data to indicate soil
quality and tree health, the SMART Tree
Project explored how trees respond to
environmental factors. Participant findings
contributed to a sound and sculpture
installation and a series of hands on activities
                                                   Photo by Dr Kirsti Abbott, New England
using sap flow monitors.                                          North West Science Hub


Little things that run the world invited
community members to collect and study
ants. Data informed the creation of a giant         “Our programs develop
sculpture depicting an ant nest. Its tunnels           critical thinking and
and chambers played host to remotely
                                                     questioning to provide
controlled ants that performed tasks in a
cooperative society. The 6-week discovery              regional community
project concluded with an AntBlitz where ants      members with knowledge
were hunted, collected, sorted, identified,            and problem-solving
pinned and curated.
                                                      skills to have a better
                                                              quality of life.”

                                                     Brian Doherty, Paterson Allyn
                                                            Williams Science Hub.


MacArthur Science Hub is
convened by the Australian
Botanic Garden at Mt Annan and
delivers large public programs
in National Science Week that
reach more than 20,000 people.
Year round programs enable
participants to discover incredible
                                                         Photo by Jackie Randles
plant science underway at the
unique Australian PlantBank
facilities. A Jurassic Gardens
Virtual Reality App allows visitors
to project images of Australian
megafauna throughout the
gardens, adding novel technology
to the visitor experience.
22
Photo by Geoff Crane


                                                 The National Indigenous Science Education
“Science Hubs fulfill the                        Program (NISEP) hosted at Macquarie University
community’s desire to know                       seeks better educational outcomes for
                                                 Indigenous youth, helping students broaden
and understand the science
                                                 ideas of what’s possible, develop confidence
being produced locally,                          and become role models in their communities.
often to address serious                         By placing regional Indigenous students into
environmental challenges.”                       leadership roles and training them to present
                                                 science demonstrations to younger students
                                                 and the community alongside scientists and
Libby Hepburn
                                                 Elders, NISEP achieves its goal of school
Sapphire Coast Science Hub.
                                                 retention for the majority of participating
                                                 students. Inspiring Australia is a proud supporter
                                                 of this unique program's participation in National
                                                 Science Week each year.




The Medieval Bundanon saw 1000 people seated
on the edge of a deep trench on the banks of
the Shoalhaven River at dusk to contemplate
geomorphology and what it can tell us about the
Medieval Warm Period (950 -1250 AD). In Britain,
they were growing grapes. So what was happening
in the Shoalhaven at that time? First, a team of local
scientists explained how muddy sediments tell the
story of many centuries of floods through layers of
soil. Then, the audience was treated to a series of
unexpected and memorable events as it became
dark. At the conclusion of a thrilling performance
that combined music, fire and Indigenous dance with
science, the audience was invited into the trench to                        Photo by Mark Newsham

examine the tools, flood markings and survey graphs
- and to taste the mounds of dirt collected in a metal
trough. To everyone’s delight, it was chocolate.


                                                                                              23
Expanding




Photo courtesy of Dr Stefan Hrabar, Data61



Over time, Inspiring Australia NSW expects    Other outcomes Inspiring Australia NSW’s
that its strategic approach will lead to:     statewide partners aspire to acheive include:


• Increased retention in and more students    • Community access to regular opportunities
  pursuing STEM subjects at school.             to acquire new knowledge through
• Increased STEM enrolments at university.      entertaining and memorable events that
                                                develop skills and spark curiosity.
• Enthusiastic citizen scientists.
                                              • Creative collaborations between
• Engaged community members
                                                artists and scientists.
  confident in their approaches to
  understanding the technologies that         • Improved quality of life through critical
  are rapidly changing our world.               thinking and greater contact with scientists.
                                              • Regional communities of interest and
The Regional Science Hub network’s collective   sustainable funding models to cater
vision for long-term success includes:          to a growing interest in science.
                                              • Equal access to science and knowledge for
• Engaged and inspired communities.             the benefit of all– including in the regions.
• A smart country where science and           • Robust links between research and
  technology are part of the landscape          the public in the interest of a stronger
• An inclusive culture where local science      democracy and informed decision-making.
  heroes - including women and those          • High-profile advocates who ensure
  from Indigenous backgrounds - share           that STEM knowledge and skills
  the limelight with sporting stars.            are made available to all.

24
Get in touch

In New South Wales, Inspiring Australia is a
partnership between the University of Sydney,
the NSW Department of Industry through the
Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and
the Commonwealth Department of Industry,
Innovation and Science. Organisations seeking
to increase public awareness and support for
Australia’s incredible science and technology
achievements and help inspire the next wave of
innovators are encouraged to join the network.

For further information please contact:                NSW Inspiring Australia & National Science
                                                                     Week Executive Committee
Jackie Randles
Manager, Inspiring Australia (NSW)                                          Jas Chambers (Chair),
jackierandles@sydney.edu.au                                     Australian Bureau of Meteorology;
@jackie_randles                                         Kristl Mauropoulos, University of Sydney;
T +61 2 9 351 5198                                     Chris Newman and Bruce Ritchie, Office of
E jackie.randles@sydney.edu.au                                    NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer;
www.inspiringnsw.org.au                               Tamara Niznik and Geoff Crane, Questacon.




                  Members of the NSW Regional Science Hubs network gather at a Leadership Forum in Sydney.
                                                                 Photo courtesy of Inspiring Australia NSW.
                                                                                                        25
Follow us online
inspiringnsw.org.au




                      26
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