In Dr Cathy Foley’s first address to the National Press Club she revealed that “as a child, being Australia’s Chief Scientist was something I could never have imagined. Nor could my school teachers – I wasn’t the best student!”. Dr Foley suffered from dyslexia which made those early school years difficult. She said that her experiences as a child equipped her with a knack for problem solving.
“Figuring out how to work my way around my dyslexia at school and navigating the world. Coming at solutions from a different angle. I have always had a keen interest in how things worked, how systems fitted together and the wonderment of the world around me. Science was a sweet spot for me. I found it exhilarating”.
At the time Dr Foley would also have battled against a gender stereotype that “girls aren’t good at science”.
It’s a battle that too many girl’s still face today.
Which is why The Women in STEM ambassador and the Australian government launched the Future You campaign. The Future You website hopes to inspire primary school aged boys and girls equally to see themselves in a range of jobs working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Right now they are running a fun competition open to Australian Children aged 8-12 years. Participants are asked to draw a Future You character for themselves and write in 50 words or less about the STEM job you would have and how you would change the world! The winner will recieve a STEM prize pack and have their character featured on the Future You website. Details on the Future You website.