From the CEO

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) 2017 January Sessions are now behind us and the 400 Australian and international students who participated have returned home to commence their final year in high school, full of new knowledge, inspiration and friendships to carry them forward during this pivotal time in their lives.

Both Session A and C were extremely successful and a testament to the extensive dedication and support we received from so many people who support our programs.  In particular, I would like to thank our Chiefs of Staff, Meg Lowry (Session A) and Martin de Rooy (Session C), and our teams of student staff leaders, whose efforts were instrumental to the success of program this year.

I would also like to recognise contributions by the NYSF Corporate staff, our volunteer Rotary parents, aunts and uncles, members of Rotary Clubs across Australia, Burgmann College, The Australian National University (ANU), our communications and teacher program interns, our many distinguished guest speakers and particularly our lab visit hosts, who provided access to leading research and industrial facilities. I encourage you to read back through the NYSF Outlook site to learn about some of the highlights from session.

Finally, the NYSF program could not exist without the financial and logistical support of our Partners and Sponsors. I thank them for their contributions during January and their continued support of the organisation and its programs.

Running in conjunction with the year 12 program in January was the NYSF National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) – aimed at supporting teachers and their commitment to STEM education in their local communities. A group of 40 teachers from around Australia participated in this long-running professional development program. Teachers were exposed to cutting edge science via lab visits, workshops, and lectures as well as engaging and networking with their peers.

Exciting times are ahead for the NYSF as we continue to develop and grow the organisation. In January, our Chair, Andrew Metcalfe AO, announced the addition of a third January session (Session B) for NYSF 2018 hosted at The University of Queensland (UQ), providing an extra 200 places – 600 students in total at the ANU and UQ.  This is made possible through funding from the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The extra places will give more students across Australia the opportunity to explore their study and career options in the STEM fields. This is evidence of the value of our year 12 program and its positive effect on students studying STEM subjects.

Although January is over, the NYSF engine room is still running hot with much planned for the remainder of 2017 and beyond. Applications for NSYF International Programs have opened with overwhelming interest.  March is looking busy – applications for NYSF 2018 will open on 1 March and will be accepted until 31 May. The Rotary District Chairs Conference will be held in Canberra, and our alumni will be out and about promoting STEM study and the NYSF at the World Science Festival in Brisbane. Our Next Step Programs for NYSF 2017 students will run throughout April to July in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, with alumni events co-hosted by IP Australia. The Student Staff Leadership Program kicks off in July and another first for the NYSF is our exciting pilot program, STEM Explorer, which will run for the in Adelaide in July 2017.  The STEM Explorer Program is a collaborative initiative between the South Australian Department of Education (DED) and the NYSF, targeting science engagement for school students in years 7 and 8. We also acknowledge the seed funding we received to develop this program from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

In other news, we also announced in January that Professor Tanya Monro, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia, has taken on the role of NYSF Science Patron.  Professor Monro, a NYSF alumna (1990), was Chair of the NSSS Board from 2014-2016.  We are delighted that Professor Monro will continue her involvement with the organisation. We have also welcomed Professor Sally-Ann Poulsen and Loren Atkins to the NSSS Board. Professor Poulsen is also a NYSF alumna (1986) and will bring with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in industry and academica.  Loren Atkins (NYSF alumna 2005), the new NYSF alumni representative, holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons), and a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Science, and currently works for the World Bank as an Associate Counsel.

By now, our NYSF 2016 alumni will have made decisions about the next stage of their education.  Whatever field of study or institution you have decided upon I would like to wish you all the best for your future studies and hope that in some small way the NYSF has helped steer you on your path.

Dr Damien Pearce

CEO

NYSF 2017 Session A: Closing Ceremony

The final day of NYSF 2017 Session A was an emotional one to say the least. After two weeks of intense science and bonding with like-minded students, it was finally time to say goodbye. Who would have thought it could be so hard to do after a mere two weeks?

It was a rollercoaster of emotion; a fast moving mixture of ecstatic and saddening feelings – but it was exactly the way I remember it from my experience on NYSF a few years ago. There is nothing quite like it, and it isn’t an experience easily forgotten.

However, while it was the last day of the NYSF, we weren’t done learning just yet.

At the Closing Ceremony we were fortunate to have 2011 NYSF alumnus, Jeeven Nadanakumar share his story. Jeeven graduated with a Bachelor of Law with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Economics at ANU in 2016. He has worked for World Vision Australia, and has represented the organisations in many fora, including at the United Nations in New York.

Jeeven had some powerful points about science, leadership, and what the future holds for our participants– particularly on what it takes to create change:

“In the 21st century, being a good scientist, engineer, researcher, or a good thinker, is simply not enough. You need to be a good advocate for your science and your research. That’s the only way you can have your voice heard and have an impact.”

“I’ve always found that it is the rule-breaking, risk-taking, creative, entrepreneurial, daring and adventurous people among us that make the best scientists, the best leaders, and the most interesting people to have over for dinner.”

In regard to being a good advocate for your work, Jeeven hinted that it’s always better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission:

“I’ve always found that it’s the rule-breaking, risk-taking, creative, entrepreneurial, daring and adventurous people among us that make the best scientists, the best leaders, and the most interesting people to have over for dinner.”

Having attended the NYSF in 2011, Jeeven knew exactly the calibre of the audience he was speaking to, but also knew the challenges they are destined to face in the year to come. He stepped down from the podium leaving the students pumped to go and tackle their year 12 and life beyond:

“You’re here at the NYSF because you have those some of those qualities. You’re leaders, and you’re prepared to think outside the box. The year ahead is going to be challenging, but if anybody is ready for it, it is you.”

“I hope that we maintain the friendships that we’ve made here for the rest of our lives, but what I hope even more is that you guys maintain your curiosity and unadulterated passion, and use it to change the world.”

Following Jeeven’s talk several of the students stood up to share their thoughts on their time at NYSF, and how they feel it had changed them as a person. Each of the speeches were incredible, but I picked up a couple of particularly eloquent quotes from our dear Frankie Mackenzie:

“What really made the NYSF though, as soppy as it sounds, is the people. It is the best feeling ever to see your friends’ face light up when they start talking about their favourite field of quantum physics.”

The evening wasn’t just emotional for the students, but also for all the dedicated student staff who put themselves out there and facilitated all the growth. Megan Lowry, the linchpin and head of the student staff, had a particularly heartfelt message to share:

 “Each one of you now are more than when you arrived. Whether you found your passion, found your voice, found your confidence, or found a friend – you are now more you. We are proud of you for it.” 

“Remember the NYSF however you can; whether that’s through photos, or writing it down. Because these emotions are transient, yet powerful. Only you will ever understand what it felt like to experience all these emotions in combination all at once.”

 “Each one of you now are more than when you arrived. Whether you found your passion, found your voice, found your confidence, or found a friend – you are now more you. We are proud of you for it.” 

And of course what would a Closing Ceremony be without some final words of wisdom from the CEO, Damien Pearce:

“We’ve been here for two weeks together, but the NYSF has just started for you. Your careers have just started for you. And I look forward to engaging with each one of you in the future.”

It is tough to say goodbye, but Damien speaks the truth when he says this is just the beginning. The NYSF changes lives, and its influence pops up again and again all throughout your life – whether that is in the work you do, the bold decisions you make, or the compassion you show to others.

I want to extend my own thank you to everybody at the Closing Ceremony and everybody behind the scenes making the NYSF the incredible and memorable experience that it is.

Keep sciencing, and don’t let your memes be dreams.

By Jackson Nexhip, NYSF 2017 Session A Communications Intern and NYSF 2013 Alumnus

Launch for NYSF 2017

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) launched its 2017 January programs earlier this month at the Australian National University (ANU).

Andrew Metcalfe, AO, Chair of the NYSF Board said the January program would be better than ever due to the ongoing support of our funding partners and organisations that facilitated the program.  Mr Metcalfe made special mention of the recent funding announcement by Minister Greg Hunt of funding for the NYSF’s activities through the National Innovation Science Agenda (NISA).

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe speaking at the NYSF 2017 launch

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe speaking at the NYSF 2017 launch

Mr Metcalfe also welcomed our newest Funding Partner, IP Australia, who’s Deputy Director General, Ms Deb Anton, also addressed the group underlining the value of supporting the NYSF as a program that attracts Australia’s next generation of leading innovators. “This aligns with IP Australia’s position,“ she said, “as we are at the forefront of innovation in Australia.”

“Supporting new talent will result in a strong, positive impact in securing Australia’s future as a global leader in science and technology.”

Attendees at the launch included representatives from NYSF funding partners, ANU academics and researchers who assist with the delivery of the NYSF program in the form of the lab visits and guest lectures; other facility lab visit and site tour providers; alumni of the NYSF Program, many of whom are students or graduates of the ANU; NYSF Board and Council members; and the NYSF corporate team.

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Dr. Chris Hatherly, Anne MacKay, Daniel Lawson, Emily Rose Rees, Ellen Lynch

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Prof. Jenny Graves, Deb Anton, Dr. Alison Shield

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Alumni Sam Backwell, Laura Wey,                Mitchell de Vries

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Andrew Metcalfe AO and Deb Anton

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Andrew Metcalfe AO and Deb Anton

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Mitchell de Vries, Natalie Williams,                Merryn Fraser

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Rowley Tompsett, Madeline Cooper,             Melanie Tacey

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Ken Maxwell, Dr. Damien Pearce, Jo Hart

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Tony Trumble, Prof. Jenny Graves, Deb Anton, Adrian Hearne, Brody Hannan

All images:  Emma Robertson

Expanded program for National Youth Science Forum in 2016

Young scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology practitioners of the future will benefit from a strengthened program under the National Youth Science Forum for 2016, which will include opportunities to hone their communication, entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills.

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(image) Geoff Burchfield

(image T8 Photography)

(image T8 Photography)

Sarah from WA - Rio Tinto support Indigenous students attending NYSF

(image Sarah Samsara)

This coming January, The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF 2016) will offer its participants a refreshed and expanded program that focuses on three central ideas: engaging with science, technology and engineering and maths – STEM in Action; understanding the role of STEM in Society; and preparing the next generation of STEM Professionals.

“We have redesigned the program to provide a more cohesive and streamlined experience,” says Chief Executive Officer, Dr Damien Pearce. “By focusing on these three strands, we will lead students through a set of activities, lectures and visits that aim to build an improved understanding of the role of science in our lives, and how studying STEM at a tertiary level can lead them in many different directions.”

In 2015, the NYSF welcomed Lockheed Martin Australia as a major funding partner. “Lockheed Martin is proud to be a major partner of the NYSF, which builds on our well-deserved reputation as an advocate for STEM in Australian and across the globe,” says Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive, Raydon Gates.

Lockheed Martin Australia - Chief Executive, Raydon Gates

Lockheed Martin Australia – Chief Executive, Raydon Gates

 

Lockheed Martin Australia NexGen Cyber Information and Technology (NCITE) Centre Canberra

Lockheed Martin Australia NexGen Cyber Information and Technology (NCITE) Centre Canberra

“Our support for NYSF builds on our mission to help solve the world’s most technically pressing challenges and to advance scientific endeavour for a safer world in the future, but also recognises that we must inspire the next generation to pursue STEM careers by showing today’s students how exciting and rewarding these jobs can be.”

For 2016, the NYSF student interest groups have been realigned to reflect the national research priorities adopted by the Australian government in April 2015 – food, soil and water, transport, cybersecurity, energy, resources, advanced manufacturing, environmental change, and health.

NYSF provides its participants with a wealth of information about university and other tertiary level study options, through access to world leading research laboratories, with an inside view of local facilities where research outcomes are translated into real life products and processes. They also have considerable opportunity to network with the researchers and industry people that they meet, as well as each other.

“The NYSF is basically the young people’s first professional networking opportunity,” says Dr Pearce. “They go home fired up and ready to tackle year 12 with renewed enthusiasm and vigour.”

The range of skills the STEM graduates of the future will need are expanding every day. Also included in the 12-day program are lectures and panel discussions on critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication skills, and the importance of having the diversity of our community represented in STEM working environments.

“We have also managed to pack into the program an extra lab visit,” says Dr Pearce, “offering even more science to the students! And along with our long-standing and extremely supportive lab and site visit providers across the campus of The Australian National University, it is really exciting to welcome IBM here in Canberra, hosting some groups at their Linux Development Lab; the National Film and Sound Archive, which is able to provide a lab visit for a large group; there’s an expanded program at the University of Canberra; and a really exciting visit to Lockheed Martin Australia’s NextGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Centre.”

The two NYSF Science Dinners will both feature inspirational guest speakers. For Session A, Dr Nick Gales, the Director of the Australian Antarctic Division has agreed to address the students and other dinner guests about his rich and varied career working for one of Australia’s most iconic and unique organisations. At the Session C dinner, acclaimed author, academic, and oncologist, Dr Ranjana Srivastava, has generously agreed to share with the students and guests her experiences of life as a working scientist. Information about  the NYSF Science Dinners is available by emailing nysf@nysf.edu.au

Dr Nick Gales

Dr Nick Gales, Director,  Australian Antarctic Division

Dr Ranjana Srivastava

Dr Ranjana Srivastava, author, academic and oncologist

 

The NYSF acknowledges funding and support provided by

Lockheed Martin Australia

The Australian National University (host university)

Cochlear Foundation

CSIRO

CSL Ltd

Grains R&D Corporation

GSK

Monash University

Murray Darling Basin Authority

NSW Trade & Investment

The University of Melbourne

The University of New South Wales

The University of Queensland

The 2015 program’s lab visit and site tour hosts are acknowledged here: http://www.nysf.edu.au/about/contributors

Additional background

In 2014-15 the NYSF

  • Attracted more than 1200 applicants
  • 600 of these were assessed as suitable to attend the program
  • 400 places were available for students to attend
  • 60 panels of volunteers from 21 Rotary Districts across Australia selected students to attend
  • 135 lab visits and site tours were conducted in January
  • 23 Next Step visits were conducted in major partner centres during school holidays
  • 43% of our participants came from rural and regional areas of Australia, reflecting our national reach, facilitated by Rotary
  • 55% of our participants were female
  • NYSF’s established national networks allows it to reach Australian schools and their students

Information: Amanda Caldwell, 0410 148 173        28/10/2015

From the Chief Executive Officer

It is truly a privilege to lead such a dynamic and contemporary organisation.  As confirmation of places are sent to the 2016 NYSF cohort, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year.

2014-15 was a very full and rewarding year – our highlights include the success of our youth and teacher programs, particularly launching Lockheed Martin Australia as a major sponsor, collaborating with Outward Bound Australia for the delivery of the Student Staff Leadership Program, and continuous improvements to our organisational governance.

This year, we have continued to increase our efficiency of operations and improve our reporting processes, with the successful implementation of an improved financial management system. This means that we can confirm that we are operating as economically as possible and making the greatest use of the resources available.

As the NYSF January sessions are conducted for young people by young people, this year we have focused on improving the process of developing our Student Staff Leaders (Staffies). Our NYSF Student Staff Leadership program prepares the 42 Staffies for their facilitation and coordination roles during the January Sessions. It is very pleasing that the NYSF is collaborating with Outward Bound Australia to deliver this program. As part of this program, the Staffies completed skill sets in training and mentoring and also participated in an outdoor orientated experiential based learning program.

This year we also welcomed Lockheed Martin Australia as a major sponsor of the NYSF – the first plank in our strategy to attract sponsors in the program from across the different economic sectors that are powered by science, technology and engineering. This investment by Lockheed Martin is significant and reflects an understanding of the important role of outreach and extension programs such as the NYSF in encouraging young Australians to continue their studies in the science, technology and engineering spheres. We acknowledge Lockheed Martin’s vision in joining with us to continue our support for young people.

Dr Damien Pearce and Raydon Gates, AO, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia

Dr Damien Pearce and Raydon Gates, AO,     Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia

Another milestone for the NYSF in 2014-15 was to increase for the first time the numbers of young people who could attend the Canberra NYSF January Sessions. As a result of the support from the Australian National University and Burgmann College we were able to increase the numbers to 200 for each of the sessions, limiting the impact of the reduction in places upon the 2014 completion of our contract to run a third session in Western Australia. Research and discussions are continuing around delivering NYSF January Sessions in additional locations in the future.

Planning for the NYSF programs begins some 18 months prior to the January of the year in which it is delivered. Plans for 2016 and 2017 are well in hand and we are looking forward to welcoming another 400 young people to participate in the program in January. We review and revise the program each year, to ensure that the participants are learning about the latest science research as well as gaining the best opportunity to explore their options for future study and career choices.

I would like to thank Professor Monro for her leadership of the NYSF and also endorse the vote of thanks that she extended to members of the Council and executive committees, office staff, student staff and Rotary friends. I would also like to acknowledge the many individuals, from across our stakeholder groups who give up their time to give lectures, and host lab and industry visits across our suite of programs.

These multiple contributions allow the NYSF to continue each year, building on the work done over the past 32 years, delivering a series of programs that make a difference to young Australians with a passion for science, and to the wider Australian community.

Dr Damien Pearce

August 2015

From the Director

Expressions of Interest from students to attend the National Youth Science Forum in January 2016 closed on 31 May 2015.  Once again, I can report that the level of interest from students was high, and that we will again have more quality applicants than places available in the program.  That we have to disappoint so many young people who want to participate in the program and are motivated to submit an application is frustrating to me, our corporate team and our Council, and we continue to work hard to engage with new corporate and university partners to source the necessary funding to run and expand our program. Once again I would like to thank all of our funding partners, including our major sponsor Lockheed Martin Australia, as well as CSL and the Grains R&D Corporation.  Their support is vital to the ongoing sustainability of the program.

As our Rotary friends begin the difficult task of selecting students who will participate in the 2016 program, our student staff leaders are moving through the program of work they are required to complete to ensure they have the skills to deliver the 2016 program in January.  Outward Bound Australia is collaborating to run the program with us, and I am confident that the work they are doing with our student leaders will result in a quality outcome for all.

The last of the 2015 Next Step visits will be delivered early in July.  These visits allow our partner universities and companies to host the students each year on their own sites, explaining their facilities and activities.  Our thanks again to all of our partners who have offered this opportunity to the 2015 cohort, giving them insights and experiences often not available to the wider public.

This month we are welcoming a new Manager, STEM Education, Ms Madeline Cooper.  This a refreshed role will see, among other things, a greater focus on the educational stucture that supports the lab visit and site tours that are conducted in the January Program.  Madeline comes to the NYSF from a background in tertiary student engagement, and we look forward to welcoming her to our corporate team.

We have recently been surveying our Rotary, corporate and university partners, and some alumni, to gain insights and input into a strategic planning process we are undertaking.  If Australia is to have the skills it needs for the 21st century, our community needs to be investing in the best support programs for our young people.  With its national networks and community backing, the NYSF is well-placed to deliver this support.  We aim to continue the work of the past thirty years, with the goal of providing more opportunities for young Australians to consider a wider array of study and employment choices that include STEM study at a tertiary level.

From the Director

The three January sessions of the 2014 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) are behind us, with 440 Australian and International students back at home, full of new knowledge, experiences, ideas and friendships for future study and career options within science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The highlights of this year’s January Sessions are covered within this edition of NYSF Outlook, however I would like to acknowledge the active participation of the students and our student staff members. Their engagement in the whole twelve days of the program is what makes it a success, and this year was no exception.

Our access to leading research and industrial facilities is … what helps to make the NYSF special.

It is also important to acknowledge the ongoing help from the many organisations that support the NYSF by facilitating and hosting lab and site visits , as well as other activities.  Our access to leading research and industrial facilities is often unique, and again, is what helps to make the NYSF special.

And finally, we must acknowledge the financial and logistical support of all of our Partners and Sponsors, which allows us to continue this valuable program year in and year out.

I would like to extend a particular thank you to Stuart McKelvie, Caroline Leach and Tayla McKechnie who were the Chiefs of Staff (P1) for the respective sessions. This role is pivotal to the success of each session and their efforts leading the student staff team into, and during the January NYSF sessions cannot be over stated.

A common question at this time of year is ,“When do you break out the banana lounges?”  But despite popular opinion, the NYSF Office does not go into hibernation in February. Currently we are planning the Rotary District Chairs Conference where we brief our Rotary partners on the program and its latest developments and hear first hand about their members’ experiences of the program; and we are evaluating the 2014 January Sessions; we are planning for the Next Step Programs which run in school holidays through from March to July; and the Student Staff Leadership Workshop, which will be delivered before the end of July.

Additionally we are also in full swing with the organisation and selection of students for the International Program; and preliminary planning is underway for the 2015 NYSF and the National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS).

So while the 2014 January Sessions are behind us, we’re always planning for the next cohort of young people to come and take part in the National Youth Science Forum and show them things they’ve never considered.

Damien Pearce

NYSF Bird

From the Director

Welcome to the December 2013 issue of NYSF Outlook.

This time of year provides the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future.

One of the most influential people in both my personal and professional life, who I met in my teens, often reminds me during difficult and challenging times about the analogy of the Fair Weathered Sailor. A Fair Weathered Sailor is someone that is agreeable only when the prevailing conditions are pleasant. As soon as conditions deteriorate these people prove to be unreliable where any ideology of teamwork and taking responsibility for their actions transforms into unhelpful self-preservation. Change is inevitable in life. The challenge that we all have is not presented by the change itself; it is how we choose to respond.

The forth-coming January sessions marks my third year of involvement with the NYSF. Based on my experiences, one of the pivotal aspects of the NYSF, in synergy with science, engineering and technology, is the focus on preparing young people to identify, address and reflect on the challenges that they face as they find their active place in society.

The NYSF empowers young people

In practice, the NYSF does this by empowering young people to listen, reflect, share ideas and even be contentious during the Forum’s visits and personal development activities. It is the ambition of the NYSF to prepare young people to cope with change, through understanding conflicting perspectives, and develop the self-confidence to make their own informed decisions and stay true to themselves.

To say that it has been a busy year for the NYSF would be nothing short of an understatement. This year has seen a change of leadership, an office restructure, a focus on governance, all within a framework of critical review and reflection. Into 2014, the challenges for the NYSF, in my view, centre on the ongoing financial sustainability of the organisation, as well as its relevance, so that we can ensure that we will be around for at least another 30 years!

I would like to acknowledge the professional support and ongoing commitment by the NYSF Staff, Executive and Council towards the success of the organisation.

I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Festive Season

On behalf of all of us at the NYSF, I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Festive Season.

We are especially looking forward to welcoming our latest cohort of NYSF participants in … 18 sleeps, until Session A!

Damien Pearce

The view from the road — Geoff Burchfield

If it’s Monday this must be Townsville. That’s what it sometimes feels like when you’re on the NYSF Orientations circuit. Actually it was Mackay and this was the Queensland leg of the 2013 tour. As people arrived for the 6 o’clock event at Mackay’s Ocean International Hotel I was struck again by how far many of the attendees had travelled and how much work goes into organising and coordinating these meetings.

Geoff Burchfield makes a point during Orientations 2013 comp

Geoff Burchfield makes a point during Orientations 2013

This year four of us from the office – Damien Pearce, Sandra Meek, Tom Grace, and myself – shared the privilege of attending Orientation meetings around the country — all 26 of them. There’s at least one meeting in each of the Rotary districts but some districts are so large that there can be as many as three meetings. District 9550 for instance takes in much of the Northern Territory as well as the top end of Queensland necessitating separate gatherings in Darwin, Cairns and Townsville.

Irrespective of where the meetings are staged, each is quite special. At diverse venues ranging from a heritage lawn bowls club in Rockhampton to CSL’s magnificent lecture theatre in Melbourne people come to hear more about the NYSF’s upcoming January sessions. And if the gathering is quiet to begin with they’re invariably lively by the end. That has much to do with the fact that most of the attendees — a mix of parents, Rotarians, teachers, students, and community representatives — have never met before. They quickly discover they have much in common even if their home-towns are miles apart. The students in particular connect almost instantly. You’d think they’d grown up together.  

The students in particular connect almost instantly.

The formal proceedings vary considerably too. Sometimes there are interesting guest speakers and often a Rotary District Governor will have found time in their busy schedule to address the students.

Professor Nasser Khalili, Associate Dean (Research), Head of Geotechnical Engineering from University of New South Wales at the Sydney District 9675 Orientations 2013

Professor Nasser Khalili, Associate Dean (Research), Head of Geotechnical Engineering from University of New South Wales at the Sydney District 9675 Orientations 2013

Orientations 2013 in South Australia for District 9520

Geoff Burchfield and Ben Galea at Orientation Session in Brisbane October  2013

Geoff Burchfield and Ben Galea at Orientation Session in Brisbane October 2013

Parents of past NYSF students may speak about their own experience of having a son or daughter travel to Canberra or Perth and reassure the ‘new’ parents that they really have nothing to worry about. Finally members of the student staff help to deliver a presentation about the NYSF and share their own experiences. Mention of the International Program always generates interest and you can tell by the knowing looks between students and parents that negotiations have already begun.

What may not be immediately obvious, however, is that the flow of information is two-way. We learn a great deal about local opportunities for future employment, study options and community support. Representatives of Rotary clubs speak proudly of past students whose careers they’ve followed. Teachers remind us of the difficult paths some students have taken, perhaps having to do independent study because the school is only small. Hearing all this on a student’s home turf adds real perspective to what we’re trying to achieve at the NYSF. There’s a sense of making a difference not just to the lives of these young scientists but to entire communities.

Often the meeting ends with a meal or afternoon tea, sometimes generously provided by an NYSF partner organisation or even assembled by members of a local Rotary Club. (The caramel slices in Armidale this year were particularly good.)

As people head for home it’s obvious the networking has already begun. And not just among the students.

I know that it can be a lot of work for the NYSF Rotary District Chairs around the country who organise these Orientation meetings and I want to acknowledge our gratitude to each one of them and their teams.

Receptions across the country for NYSF 2014 students

Each year, NYSF students and Rotary representatives are privileged to be invited to attend functions hosted by State Governors and the Administrator in the Northern Territory at Government House in most states.

The functions aim to celebrate the students’ selection to attend the NYSF and are seen as acknowledgement of their hard work and high level of achievement. Many students travel from regional areas to attend.

Each Governor and Administrator spends time with the students, giving a brief address that focuses on a particular area of interest or concern.

NYSF Director, Damien Pearce says that these receptions are a very unique opportunity available to NYSF students and recognizes the importance that science education plays in our community.  “We sincerely thank all of the Governors and the NT Administrator and their staff members for their support this year.”

Tas Gov Reception 2013 group


Tas Gov reception 56)
Tasmanian Governor’s Reception for NYSF, September 2013

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West Australian Governor’s Reception for NYSF, September 2013

Adelaide Governor's Reception 2013 1

South Australian Governor’s Reception for NYSF, October 2013

NT Administrator's REception Oct 2013

Northern Territory’s Administrator’s Reception, October 2013

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Queensland Governor’s NYSF Reception, October 2013

NYSF 2014 NSW Governor's Reception 2013

New South Wales Governor’s Reception, September 2013