Kate Lumber, a Year 12 student at McCarthy Catholic College, Tamworth, was selected as one of 10 young people from across the nation to attend an influential government and industry forum in Canberra. The 10 students had all gained fresh insights into the science behind primary industries as recipients of Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE) Industry Placement Scholarships.
Representing the University of New England’s PICSE program, Kate (pictured here) made a presentation to the Canberra Think Tank, informed by her PICSE Scholarship experience, about careers in the science that supports food security in Australia.
The Think Tank saw students, politicians and representatives of industry discuss Australia’s shortage of trained scientists in the areas of food and water. The new PICSE Advisory Board Chairman, Professor Alan Robson, opened the program and told the audience that as a nation we needed “a steady stream of passionate young people moving into a range of science-based careers”. Tony Windsor, Federal Member for New England, also addressed the Think Tank and highlighted the need to support many aspects of Australia’s primary industries.
During a reception at Parliament House, the Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, said it was vital that students were given opportunities to learn more about science because they would be the researchers of the future. “PICSE has a highly innovative approach to science education that not only inspires future scientists but links to important global issues like future food supply and changing climates,” Senator Carr said.
“The PICSE Scholarship has been a wonderful experience – one that I am truly grateful for,” Kate said. “It has given me an in-depth insight into the large variety of careers available in primary industries. I now feel confident that I wish not only to pursue a career in agricultural industry, but also to study for a Bachelor of Rural Science degree at the University of New England.”
The Primary Industry Centre for Science Education is a national education program encompassing professional development for teachers, class resources, learning activities, and student camps and industry placements – all aimed at making the study of science and its role in primary industry vital and relevant to Australian teachers and students. Susanna Greig, the Science Education Officer for UNE PICSE, accompanied Kate Lumber at the Canberra forum, which ran from the 20th to the 22nd of June.
THE PHOTOGRAPH of Kate Lumber displayed here was taken during her presentation to the Canberra Think Tank.