Victor Chang School Science 2022 Awards - Campbelltown Council Winners

School Science Awards 2022

Year 11 students from across Australia awarded Victor Chang School Science Awards

9 December 2022

One hundred and seventy-one bright young minds have been highlighted for their passion for STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – subjects that are increasingly out of favour with students across Australia.

Enrolments in STEM subjects are continuing to fall or stagnate with less than 10 percent of Australian year 12 students now studying the highest level of maths. It’s seen Australia drop in global rankings for math results from being in the top 10 in 2003 to 30th – a huge decline.

School Science Awards 2022 - Blacktown Council

School Science Awards 2022 Winners, Blacktown Council

It’s hoped this year’s awards will help reverse this trend and inspire a future generation of scientists.
Professor Jamie Vandenberg presenting at the School Science Awards

The Institute's Prof Jamie Vandenberg presenting at North Sydney Council's presentation of the School Science Awards

“Children are naturally curious, and we need to encourage students across the country to embrace science and understand just how important STEM skills can be in critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity,” says Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

“These budding scientists are already demonstrating incredible skills in the classroom that we hope will lead to a new generation of scientific leaders. “It’s vital that we tackle this brain drain in Australia and demonstrate that a career in science can be incredibly rewarding and help improve lives the world over.”

More than 100 schools from across NSW – including from the heart of Sydney, Tweed Heads; Broken Hill and Albury took part in the awards – as well as schools in Western Australia too.

Award ceremonies were held in Blacktown, Campbelltown and North Sydney recognising the achievements.

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute wants to encourage students to embrace science and be inspired to consider a fulfilling career in research.

“There has never been a more exciting time to study STEM with incredible advances taking place in robotics, genetics, biomedicine, and artificial intelligence,” adds Professor Kovacic.

School Science Awards Winners with Prof Jamie vandenberg and North Sydney Mayor Zoë Baker

School Science Awards Winners with Prof Jamie Vandenberg and North Sydney Mayor Zoë Baker

North Sydney Mayor Zoë Baker said the Victor Chang School Science Awards presented fantastic opportunities for local students to foster an interest in science.

" Australia has been lagging in STEM education for some time. STEM is vital to our future, and we must, as a community, take every opportunity to promote and support our young people in fostering a passion for science and technology,” Cr Baker said.

The Institute's Osvaldo Contreras with Upasana Jayswal and Mayor Bleasdale

The Institute's Dr Osvaldo Contreras with Upasana Jayswal and Mayor Bleasdale

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said: “I am very proud of all the students from schools in our city who work hard in science and are setting the foundations to be part of the next generation of Australian researchers.

“Receiving this science award comes with a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the Institute’s activities and a career in science. These awards come with a great heritage, and I congratulate these talented students on continuing the memory of one of Australia’s greatest minds.”

Mayor Greiss, student Suri Le with the Institute's Dr Emma Rath

Mayor Greiss, student Suri Le with the Institute's Dr Emma Rath

Campelltown Mayor George Greiss said: “Our region has a strong STEM sector that will only be bolstered in the coming years by the significant growth we are experiencing.

“It’s important that young people are engaging with STEM subjects during their formative years so that they are able to take advantage of the local opportunities that are coming,” he said.

The Victor Chang School Science Awards were established to celebrate young, gifted students excelling in science, honouring Dr Victor Chang’s legacy in fostering education.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years