I am a Fellow of the RACI and member for over 25 years, from a chemistry student at the Australian National University
to today as an Associate Professor in Chemistry at the University of Wollongong (UOW). I am a passionate advocate for
chemistry and driven to improve equity, diversity & inclusion by dismantling structural barriers and supporting others to
enter the field from all walks of life. I strive to create a welcoming environment for the next generation of scientists and
humbled to have received the Margaret Sheil Leadership Award in 2020 for championing gender equity in the chemical
- I lead an interdisciplinary research program developing new anti-cancer agents & bioinspired solutions for
bacterial infection & wound healing performed in collaboration with long-term industry and community partners,
building on a chemistry career that has been forged through industry partnerships.
- I aim to equip students with the chemistry knowledge and skills they need to succeed in diverse careers, with over
16 years of tertiary chemistry teaching including development of new courses and STEM outreach programs and
have been awarded Senior Fellow status by the Higher Education Academy, UK.
- I am Chair-elect of the Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology (MCCB) Division and co-chair of both the combined
Organic & Medicinal Chemistry Conference in Wollongong Nov 2022 and the MCCB stream of the National
Congress in July 2022, helping to create diverse and gender-balanced conference programs.
- As the 2021 national STEM Ambassador (Science & Technology Australia), I advocate for the chemical sciences
connecting with politicians to promote the key role of chemistry in solving national challenges in health and
medicine; sustainable energy and food production; and climate change. This builds on earlier roles as the RACI
representative at Science Meets Parliament in 2019 and on the Government’s Biodiscovery Industry Panel.
- In 2020, I joined the Homeward Bound leadership program aimed at empowering a globally diverse network of
STEMM women aiming for greater influence and impact in decision-making that shapes our plant.
RACI Direction as I see it
- COVID-19 has thrust science into the public spotlight. We need to seize this moment to highlight chemistry’s role
underpinning health and medical discoveries and to collaborate with our industry, Government and community
partners across STEM to create further positive impacts in society and inspire the nation. In my roles as STA
Ambassador and as Deputy Director of the Molecular Horizons Research Institute (UOW), I play a key role building
relationships with industry, Government and community and attracting financial investment.
- To expand our base of chemistry professionals and RACI members, we need to attract more students into
chemistry senior science and tertiary study through supporting our teachers with training and resources and
promoting the diverse careers that stem from a chemistry background. In consultation with RACI’s industry
partners, I will work to expand career opportunities for chemistry graduates including through industry internship
programs and building on the outstanding work RACI is already doing providing career support; and with schools
to help better support chemistry teachers.
- “Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice”. While we’ve made great strides in equity,
diversity & inclusion, there is still more to do, especially around inclusion and accessibility to chemistry training
and employment opportunities. I have worked in this area throughout my career including on UOW’s Athena
Swan gender equity program. I will work with others to expand RACI’s achievements in equity and diversity,
promote our field as welcoming and supportive to all people and grow the diversity of our chemical sciences
community, attracting new members and ensuring the diverse voices in our community are heard and included
in decision-making processes.