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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).


Simon Caroll

Representing: Western Australia 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).


Vanessa McGuiness

Representing: City of Canning

After completing studies in Environmental Science (Hons) at Murdoch University, Vanessa has since extended herself over various science industries in WA, including coastal and marine projects, conservation, science communication and more recently waste projects at 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."


Jane Mitchell

Representing: ChemCentre

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.


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Tara Broadhurst

Representing: University of Western Australia

Tara is the Student Equity Manager at the University of Western Australia, advocating and supporting students from diverse backgrounds to enter and succeed in higher education.


Tara is passionate about connecting traditionally underrepresented groups into STEM including girls and women, those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and regional and remote areas. She combines her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Business Administration (Social Impact) to promote the social, financial and personal benefits of STEM education and interest for all West Australians.

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Deputy Chair

Gina Pearse


Representing: Curtin University


Gina is a STEM Outreach Coordinator at Curtin University, organising events and programs that engage school students and the general public with STEM, and research at Curtin.


Her science training was in biology, but while completing her degree she discovered Science Communication and realised that was where her real passion lay. She completed a Master in Science Communication at Australian National University, and after many years of working in outreach on various projects, she is still passionate about communicating science, and raising awareness amongst young people of the opportunities and benefits of STEM careers.


Caroline Chapman

Representing: University of Western Australia

Caroline is a Research Development Advisor at University of Western Australia and was previously in Medical Sciences at Edith Cowan University. In her role Caroline brings together her passion for STEM and her interest in supporting researchers, working to develop not only their careers, but to bolster the impact and possible commercialisation of their research.

Caroline started her career with a Biochemistry Degree from Warwick University UK, followed by a PhD in molecular oncology, at The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow UK.


Michelle Austin

Representing: Edith Cowan University

For 20 years, Michelle has developed and delivered outreach and engagement programs as well as student ambassador / mentoring programs in both the UK and WA. She has spent the majority of her career in the university sector while also founding her own training and recruitment agency.

In Perth, Michelle has focused on building the outreach team at Murdoch University, and for the past four years, has worked as the Science Engagement Coordinator (Science and Mathematics) at Edith Cowan University.

Michelle is passionate about the empowering nature of education and the opportunities studying can present. 

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Executive Officer

Imogen Winsborough

Representing: Inspiring Australia

Imogen is the Inspiring Australia Manager for Western Australia, aligning WA with national science engagement goals. She is also the Community Partnership Advisor at Scitech. 

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 STEM engagement programs to schools. 


Keal Byrne

Representing: Murdoch University

Dr Keal Byrne is a physicist and science educator, with a particular passion for the science of light.


Keal graduated from UWA in 2009 with a BSc(Hons)\BA in physics and philosophy, and in 2014 completed his PhD on the colour-changing properties of pink diamonds. During his career, Keal has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Institution and has designed innovative educational programs for university students here in Perth. He is currently a member of Murdoch University’s Outreach team, where he leads science education and engagement initiatives for school audiences.


Laura Kuhar

Representing: CSIRO


Laura Kuhar is a Research Team Leader in the CSIRO Minerals group. Her vision is to create an invisible mine with her research into in-situ recovery technology, which is like keyhole surgery for mining and involves extracting valuable metal from deposits without extracting the rock.


Laura has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, a PhD in chemistry and has been with the CSIRO for 12 years. Before this, she was a researcher at Anglo American and De Beers Consolidated Mines.


Laura is passionate about science engagement for children and is one of Science and Technology Australia’s Superstars of STEM, which aims to smash society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in STEM.

National Science Week WA Coordinating Committee members:
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