ABOUT THE WACC
National Science Week is delivered in WA under the Inspiring Australia program, by a consortium of STEM-focused WA-based organisations, called the West Australian Coordinating Committee (WACC).
Representing: Western Australian Museum
Simon is a Research Associate at the Western Australian Museum following the role as Head of Science there. He has been passionate about science all his life, in particular, programs that encourage society to recognise and engage in science as a means of appreciating the benefits of the natural world.
His career has spanned many areas of biomedical science and its application to human health through commercialising technologies. After studying internationally in the field of molecular biology and holding senior executive posts in science-based organisations, including CSIRO and AusBiotech, he became the Director of the Western Australian Biomedical Research at Curtin University. Later, Simon was the Director of Science Partnerships at Scitech overseeing ScienceNetwork WA, the role out of the Inspiring Australia Initiative in WA, and chairing the National Science Week Committee (2012-16).
Representing: Engineers Australia
Susie is the Member Engagement Manager for Engineers Australia WA where she links people with professional development opportunities.
Having gained a Bachelor of Science in Biological and Enviornmental Sciences Susie is passionate about sustainability. In her spare time she volunteers for an Conservation organisation where she helps protect marine life.
Representing: Inspiring WA
Imogen is the Inspiring Western Australia Manager, she aligns WA with national science engagement goals and links the committee with the National Network. She is also a Partnership Advisor at Scitech where she develops and manages Scitech's relationships with community organisations.
Imogen obtained a Bachelor degree in Biotechnology from The University of Adelaide. Having found that there was a gap between research and public knowledge she became interested in promoting STEM and its applications to everyday life. She obtained a Master in Marketing before joining the Space industry to deliver school STEM engagement programs.
Representing: Murdoch University
Andrew is a Geologist, Science Teacher and STEM outreach officer with a passion for creating opportunity for our youth in STEM education.
He graduated from the University of Leicester with a Bsc (Hons) in Geology and worked in the mining industry in Western Australia, until seeking a role in education. He went on to achieve a Graduate Diploma of Education at ECU and worked as a Science teacher and STEM co-ordinator.
Andrew is currently working at Murdoch University as part of the Outreach team where he designs, co-ordinates and runs Science Education and Engagement initiatives for school audiences.
Representing: Edith Cowan University
Cass is an Outreach and Engagement Coordinator in ECU’s School of Science, engaging high school students and the public with STEM as well as showcasing ECU’s world-class research.
Her background is in environmental biology and science communication, with more than fifteen years’ experience in delivering programs and events to promote STEM literacy. This includes, but isn’t limited to, creating videos about scientist and their work, coordinating the annual astronomy festival Astrofest, and performing interactive reptile shows at Perth Fringe World festival with her company Roaming Reptile Education.
Cass is enthusiastic about engaging with underrepresented groups in science, and getting people excited about the possible future our researchers are uncovering.
Representing: Curtin University
Gina is a STEM Outreach Coordinator at Curtin University, organising events and programs that engage school students and the public with STEM, and research at Curtin. As the Girls in STEM champion, she focuses on outreach projects that help raise the visibility and participation of women in STEM.
Her science training was in biology, but while completing her degree she discovered her passion for Science Communication, and subsequently completed a Master in Science Communication.
Gina has been involved in National Science Week since 2017 and is passionate about raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits of getting involved in STEM.
Representing: Department of Jobs, Science, Tourism and Innovation
Heather is a Project Officer for the STEM Strategy and Coordinating team within the department where she supports STEM initiatives across WA and supports the delivery of the Premier's Science Awards.
Jane has a background in communications and a passion for science. She is fairly new at ChemCentre, having stepped into the role of Communication and Outreach Officer during the recent global pandemic.
Jane has always enjoyed where her career has taken her - from planning and delivering Scitech’s Outreach programs, to media and publicity responsibilities at the Western Australian Museum, she always has a smile on her face when she goes to work.
Representing: Science Teachers Association WA
John is the CEO of the Science Teachers' Association of Western Australia (STAWA). Primary and secondary science teachers are supported by the association through; Conferences, professional learning program development and delivery, and writing and publishing teacher and student resources.
John has a BAppSc, Grad Dip Sc Ed. From Curtin University and 28 Years teaching experience across all sectors, including 3 years in curriculum development and 18 years as Head of Science 1989-2006. John has authored published textbook; Unit Science Series 8-10 (1989-1999), and Co-authored Pearson Chemistry for WA (2016).
His current role includes advocacy and liaison with government, university, and education authorities. He has worked across projects including the Synergy School Solar Challenge, Science Talent Search and Physics Day at Adventure World.
Representing: Murdoch University
Dr Keal Byrne is a Lecturer in Engineering at Murdoch University, where he champions the importance of creativity as a foundational STEM skill.
Keal studied physics and philosophy at UWA, culminating in a PhD focused on the physics of colour-changing pink diamonds. During his career Keal has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Institution, a designer of innovative higher-education science programs here in Perth, and an advocate of STEM community engagement at home and abroad. Keal has been involved in National Science Week since 2018, acting as Chair of the WACC in 2019 & 2020.
Representing: The University of Western Australia
Katie is a marketing, communications and events specialist with ten years’ experience in school outreach. Passionate about widening access and participation of students from diverse backgrounds, Katie is currently the Manager of Student Equity and the Girls in Engineering Coordinator at The University of Western Australia.
Sarah-Jayne has been involved with National Science Week for the last three years, creating posts for the national social media channels in 2020 and holding the position of Deputy Chair of the ACT National Science Week Coordinating Committee in 2021 and 2022.
Having worked at Questacon, Sarah-Jayne has experience in helping people find avenues to be involved in STEM. She recently joined the WACC to help make science more accessible for everyone in Western Australia.
Simone is a Program Manager within CSIRO's Mineral Resources division. She has worked in science research for over 25 years in private industry, for universities and at CSIRO, previously working within agricultural research as a laboratory technician and field-based scientist.
Simone currently assists with the Autonomous Sensors Future Science Platform (AS FSP) project to design and implement processes that ensure effective operation. The AS FSP will provide new advanced sensing and platform technologies for the environmental monitoring, health monitoring, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing domains.
As a passionate science educator she has always supported STEM based initiatives by actively participating in CSIRO’s STEM Professional in Schools Program. She is also on a School Board as their Community Representative and works closely with the Specialist Science teacher at the school.
"National Science Week is continuing to gain momentum in our communities and it such an honour to be a part of the engine room."
Shanii is the Customer Insights Analyst at Scitech, responsible for overseeing evaluation of Scitech’s programs by gathering and analysing data to measure audience experience and social impact. She has worked with Scitech in various roles since 2013, including performing science shows, developing programs, assisting with organising National Science Week in 2018 and delighting early-childhood audiences as bubble-blowing mime in her favourite show, Bubble Trouble!
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Science Communication at the University of Western Australia, she continued her scicom journey through completing her Masters of Science Communication at UWA, researching the impact of science shows on high school audiences’ science career and study intentions. Shanii is particularly curious about the role of science communication in social justice and informed decision-making. In her spare time, Shanii is strongly connected with the Perth Science Communication community through collaborations with Australian Science Communicators WA, The Innovator’s Tea Party, and UWA Science Communication.
Tim Keely is a STEM Outreach Coordinator at Curtin University. With over 15 years in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, he is a passionate advocate for innovative ways to get STEM into the community, with a long history with Aboriginal and robotics programs.
He is looking forward to being part of the WACC team and delivering great outcomes for the WA public.
Representing: Perth NRM
Vanessa is the Coastal & Marine Program Coordinator at Perth NRM, developing environmental restoration projects with industry partners and hosting community capacity and awareness-raising events. Vanessa has extended herself over various science industries in WA, from STEM engagement and science communication with schools via the Murdoch University Outreach Program, to sustainability and waste reduction projects with the City of Canning.
"I have big plans towards a sustainable and waste-free future for my community. My passion is to create long-lasting projects that have positive change and connect people to science and the environment"
Representing: Minderoo Foundation
Wayne is the Marine Education Manager in the Minderoo Foundation’s Flourishing Oceans Initiative. He utilises a variety of approaches to help schools explore, understand and protect our oceans. He is currently working to maximise the reach of the film adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel, Blueback into schools across Australia and New Zealand. Wayne is also developing more opportunities to share marine research with the education sector and community audiences.
Wayne has extensive experience as an educator in the environmental and sustainability sector, having previously led engagement and learning programs for Perth Zoo and the Western Australian Museum.
He is returning to an active role on the WA National Science Week Committee and is keen to help people to celebrate science in our everyday lives (especially science to helps people to connect with and value our blue spaces).
Interested in joining the WACC?
The WACC are always on the lookout for new members to join the committee and support the coordination of National Science Week in Western Australia. If you would like to know more about what our members do, or would like to submit an EOI to become a member, please contact our Executive Officer.