Dame Linda Partridge with students from Carwatha College, Keysborough College and Methodist Ladies College at the 2012 Graeme Clark Oration
On Wednesday 18 July, Dame Linda Partridge delivered the 2012 Graeme Clark Oration entitled "Forever Young", which was followed by an Oration Dinner attended by representatives of the business, government and science communities.
Among the attendees at the Oration and Oration Dinner were veski innovation fellows and board members who hosted 10 students and teachers from three Victorian Schools in an effort to inspire the next generation of bright young minds.
Teachers and students from Carwatha College, Keysborough Secondary College and Methodist Ladies College joined veski hosted tables at the Oration Dinner as part of veski's activities to lift participation rates in science amongst students in Victoria.
The Oration Dinner, attended by leaders from the medical research, academic, business and government communities, provided another opportunity for veski innovation fellows, students and teachers to hear from the 2012 Graeme Clark Orator, Dame Linda Partridge.
Following her dinner speech, Dame Partridge led a lively and enlightening question and answer session. In a room filled with Melbourne’s best and brightest academics, it can take a lot of courage to stand up and pose a question, particularly when you’re a student asking it of an international scientist. Thanks to the encouragement of veski innovation fellows, a student from Carwatha College stood up and asked Dame Partridge what might be the effect on population numbers if the pill helped reduce aged related health issues.
The veski innovation fellows were inspired and enjoyed the opportunity to engage directly with up-and-coming science students and their teachers. The Dinner gave them an opportunity to talk about their areas of scientific research, some being lesser known to school students and therefore often not explored when deciding on a career path. They also generously offered the students the opportunity to contact them directly to organise a visit to their institutions.
Head of Science from Keysborough, Leonie McGlashan said the best part of the evening was “having dinner with academics who generously invited our students to attend their work places”. She also said, “That was the most spectacular night, it was heaven. We all thought so”. Haven’t stopped raving about it.”
One student said, “It was a great experience to be part of this scientific community and mingle with professional people” while another student said, “it was very exciting meeting Doctors, Scientists and Professors”.
Feedback from another student included: "As a young woman hoping to follow a career in science, I found Dame Linda Partridge’s presentation very inspirational. Meeting the veski representatives at the dinner afterwards was also great, as it provided another opportunity for me to learn about the industry and ask questions".
The Graeme Clark Oration is an initiative of the ICT for Life Sciences Forum, which was established in Melbourne in 2008 to connect the community of researchers active at the intersection between biology, computing and engineering.
veski has supported the Graeme Clark Oration in previous years by bringing students and veski innovation fellows and promoting the event to its established network.
“There are many great challenges for a new academic … finding the right people, finding the right infrastructure and obviously funding as well to get your research done and veski has really been able to help out on all of those counts” - Dr Luke Connal
More quotes about veski
“The veski initiative is just a start. It is an imaginative program to lure Australians back to Victoria and it is passionate about bringing wealth to Victoria through science and technology.” - Andrew Holmes