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Ready for the students

Careers for girls full STEM ahead in Salisbury

More than 200 female students in Years 8-11 from 10 northern suburb schools have attended a ground-breaking event hosted by the City of Salisbury held at the Salisbury Community Hub on Tuesday 28 March as part of its forward-looking economic agenda. It provided opportunities for students to bust stereotypes about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and encourage them to seize future career opportunities in STEM related fields.

The event, organised by the City of Salisbury and the Northern Adelaide State Secondary School Association (NASSSA) and funded by the Federal Government’s National Careers Institute, aimed to showcase the wide range of traditional and non-traditional career options available to women in STEM related industries busting stereotypes within male dominated industries.

It also highlighted the current and future employment opportunities available in STEM related fields in the northern suburbs including those that flow on from the recently announced AUKUS submarine venture which is estimated to support approximately 20,000 direct jobs across Australia over the next 30 years with South Australia being one of the main beneficiaries.

Guest speakers at the event were leading women working in STEM related fields, including Dr Sylvie Perreau, Chief of Sensors and Effectors Division at the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), and Dr Lisa Bailey, Exhibition and Experience Design Manager at UniSA’s Museum of Discovery. Both speakers shared their own personal story of their career journeys and the importance of challenging the concept of traditional roles for women, especially in the field of artificial intelligence.

Students also visited leading organisations BAE Systems Australia, Saab Australia, Defence Science and Technology Group, Codan Limited and Topcon Positioning Systems which are all based in the City of Salisbury. They undertook site tours and took part in hands on activities such as mixed reality systems and 3D modelling. They also learnt first-hand, about STEM related career pathways and future employment growth areas.

City of Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge OAM thanked the participating organisations and said it was an honour to team up with these world-leading businesses based in our city and support careers for local women by hosting the event at the Salisbury Community Hub.

This was a wonderful opportunity for young local women in the northern region to experience what a career in STEM could look like.

The opportunity to explore these options at such a critical time in their schooling life not only equips them with the knowledge and inspiration to make those decisions in their studies, but also leaves them feeling inspired and we are so lucky to have these organisations on our doorstep.

This is one of many workshops and events to be held in the Salisbury Community Hub for the community and opens up further opportunities for organisations to have events with us.

Mayor Gillian Aldridge OAM

NASSSA Director Penny Chancellor said it was exciting to see so many young women explore the opportunities available in the STEM industry.

In particular, it was challenging and insightful to hear that as artificial intelligence evolves and as the algorithms that sit behind it are written, we need women and diversity to participate in the process so that the messages we receive in the community are balanced.

There are powerful and exciting future opportunities available for our students, if they think outside of the box and are prepared to take up the challenge and look for problems in the world around them to help solve.

Penny Chancellor, Director, Northern Adelaide State Secondary School Association

BAE Systems Australia’s Chief People Officer, Angela Wiggins, said it was important for the defence industry to showcase the diverse careers available to young people, regardless of their gender.

Now more than ever, the industry is looking to attract and retain the best and brightest minds in the country and it begins with inspiring and engaging throughout their education.

As a defence industry leader, our goal is to nurture and inspire the next generation and to encourage more girls to consider future careers as engineers, technologists and innovators.

Angela Wiggins, Chief People Officer, BAE Systems Australia

The schools which attended the forum were Riverbanks College B-12, Mark Oliphant College, Thomas Moore College, Playford International College, Paralowie R-12, Craigmore High School, Salisbury High School, Parafield Gardens High School, Salisbury East High School and Para Hills High School.