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Workshops - 24 May 2024

Educator Panel - AI and the Future of School Education

Available in Session 4

The panel on AI and the future of school education with eminent STEAM professionals is a must for all educators and hopes to bring in a robust discussion on this important topic. Hear from various leading industry experts to explore future possibilities.

Presented By:
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Dr Tim Kitchen

Adobe Senior Education Specialist

An educator for over 30 years, Dr Tim Kitchen has been Adobe’s Senior Education Specialist for Asia Pacific since 2013. A passionate advocate for creativity in education, Tim is an author and a regular presenter for national and international education events.

Anem Javed
Anam Javed

Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership

Anam is the Master Teacher in Residence for Technologies at the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership. Anam is passionate about harnessing the potential of digital technologies to combat social inequity and improve educational outcomes for students from all backgrounds. For her work in STEM, particularly with CALD communities, she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2023.

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Sharath Sriram

President of Science Technology Australia

Professor Sharath Sriram jointly leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. His research transforms discoveries in materials science and electronics into devices and products for high-speed electronics, sensors, and medical devices. He is Director of the Discovery to Devices Facility for scale-up manufacture of medical devices, and was Founding Deputy Director of the $60 million Micro Nano Research Facility. He has published close to 250 peer-reviewed articles. He actively links academia and industry, to commercialise Australian innovations into products. He is a leader in science research policy and advocacy and is currently President of Science & Technology Australia.

Amanda Caples
Amanda Caples

Victoria's Lead Scientist

Amanda is Victoria's Lead Scientist, a role that aligns and connects Victoria’s science, technology and innovation capability with business needs and with government’s economic development activities.
Amanda is Chair of mRNA Victoria's Scientific Advisory Group; Chair of the Victorian Quantum Technology Network; and a non-executive Director of Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd. 
Amanda has led the development of industry and science and innovation policy in Victoria since joining the Victorian Public Service in 2002 as the inaugural Director of Biotechnology. During this time, she has delivered major policy reforms, a range of programs and global partnerships, and landmark initiatives including the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Amanda is experienced in clinical trials, regulatory affairs, business development and licensing through prior roles with international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Sean Gallagher
Sean Gallagher

Humanova Founder

Dr. Sean Gallagher is the founder of Humanova and a leading expert on the future of work in Australia. His deep understanding of AI, flexible and hybrid work arrangements, and the industrial shifts associated with Industry 4.0, alongside his contributions to workplace learning and innovation, allows him to focus on how technology changes the nature of work and how to enhance human capability to create value for organizations. Most recently, he directed the Centre for the New Workforce at Swinburne University for six years. Sean is highly knowledgeable in generative AI's impact on work, having led Australia's first research on GenAI's effects on knowledge work in collaboration with Deloitte. His upcoming publication, "GenAI & the Future of Human Work," highlights his pioneering work in this area. He also created the first short course on GenAI, emphasizing business productivity, and has assisted companies and government agencies in incorporating GenAI.

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Veena Nair

STEAM Head - Viewbank College

Veena Nair is a first generation Indian migrant and is currently the STEAM leader at Viewbank college. She has taught in 3 countries and through 4 different curricula across all year levels from primary to secondary and has a wide exposure teaching all subjects of  Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics . Veena is the Banyule Nillumbik Teacher Ambassador for Viewbank college. Veena volunteers as a committee member for Design and Technologies Teachers Association Victoria and the Science Talent Search . She has also served as a panelist for various VCAA review committees. Veena has been active both in India and Australia and has been successful in leading teacher teams from Australia to conduct workshops in India on STEAM and Sustainability. For her efforts to get the VCE subject Systems engineering  recognized as  a bonus subject for engineering in Victoria she was awarded the 'Teacher of the year' award by Design and Technology Association of Australia . In 2022 Veena was the recipient of the very prestigious Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools . 

Educator Panel

Student Panel - Future Careers and Pathways in the World of STEAM

Available in Session 2

Our new offering of a panel discussion for students on future and current pathways will have prominent scientists and industry experts, ranging from early graduate roles all the way to established STEAM professionals. They will be discussing their own career journey and offering guidance on the diverse career pathways to these young changemakers - the next generation of STEAM pioneers!

Presented By:
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Professor Madhu Bhaskarans

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology

Professor Madhu Bhaskaran is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. She is a multi-award winning electronics engineer and innovator. She co-leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University which she established in 2010. 

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Dr Ruwangi Fernando

Chair of theDiversity and Inclusion Committee of the Australian Computer Society Victoria

Dr Ruwangi Fernando is an accomplished IT expert and AI specialist with a strong academic, industry and consulting background. Dr Fernando completed her PhD at Victoria University in collaboration with Data61, CSIRO and the Department of Transport in Victoria. She chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Australian Computer Society Victoria and is a member of The Department of Home Affairs Multicultural Women’s Reference Group. Dr Fernando has a strong history of advocating for gender equity in STEM especially addressing the intersectional challenges faced by Women of Colour (WOC) in STEM. She was recognised for her efforts and awarded a STEM Women Changemaker by the Australian Academy of Science, Melbourne Asian Game Changer 2022 award by Asia Society and Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll in 2023. Dr Fernando founded STEM Sisters, a pioneer organisation that empowers STEM women of colour. She spearheads six award-winning programs to break down systemic barriers and promote equal access to opportunities in STEM for WOC. Under her leadership, STEM Sisters won many awards, including the Techdiversity Business (2023) and Media (2023) Awards, the Victorian International Education Excellence Award 2022, the Multicultural Excellence Award 2022 and the WISE grant from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. She is also the founder of iSTEM Co., a research, consulting and talent-sourcing company that enables employment for women in STEM, including WOC and CALD. iSTEM Co. was nominated as a finalist for the Women in Digital awards and has recently launched DEIR, a recruitment-tech platform that eliminates recruitment bias for women in STEM. DEIR has also received recognition in STEM and won the Lift Women Social Impact Award.

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Chris Manzie

Head of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne

Professor Chris Manzie is the Head of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia. He has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Engineering, and completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering.  Prior to his current role, he was an academic in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has held visiting positions at UC San Diego (USA) and IFP Energies Nouvelles (France). Professor Manzie is an internationally recognized expert in model-based and model-free control and optimisation, with fundamental contributions to areas including extremum seeking and robust model predictive control. His research has been inspired by real challenges in applied domains including systems related to autonomy, aerodynamics, energy, transportation and mechatronics. He has made significant contributions to these domains whilst also leading large research programs involving multiple universities and industry partners.

Justin Nieuwof
Justin Nieuwof

AEMO Engineer

After graduating from Viewbank College in 2017, I went to The University of Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Science and then a Masters of Engineering (Electrical). As part of my studies I had the opportunity to grow a lot, academically and personally, through experiences like going on an overseas exchange and study through the Covid lockdowns. My studies also included an internship at AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator), which lead to me now working for them as an engineer in the system planning team. My role is centred around providing engineering analysis behind reports like the Integrated System Plan and Electricity Statement of Opportunities, which contribute to the plan for the future of Australia's electricity system. Outside of work, I am passionate about soccer; this year I am coaching 2 teams at Watsonia Heights Soccer Club.

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Sara Webb

Swinburne University of Technology

I use AI to explore the Universe and what might be beyond. As an astronomer who works with enormous amounts of data, I had to dive into AI to work effectively. These newly found AI skills have led me to a unique and rewarding research career focusing on anomaly detection and big data exploration. I share the wonders of astronomy, AI and space science on my socials, follow along to prepare for the future. The last 100 years of astronomy has seen our knowledge of our own home galaxy, universe and even the thing’s that make-up us change in almost immeasurable ways. We simultaneously know more and less about the Universe we live in, and with new and exciting telescopes, we’ll soon have too much data to work with manually. To prepare for the future of Astronomy, Dr. Sara Webb works with optical telescope data and machine learning to explore explosions in the universe and how astronomers find them. Sara focused on studying small, yet mighty, red dwarf stars and their flares. When a star flares, energy and matter are spewed out into the surrounding solar system, and Sara has worked to build up a large and unique population of these stars that flare in very short periods of time. In her broader research into investigating the use of AI in team situations, Sara is currently working on studying how astronomers work in their various cognitive states. Aside from her academic research, Sara also coordinates and co-leads Swinburne’s unique student space challenge programs, sending student led experiments to the International Space Station. This Australian wide program gives students insight into a space science career.

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Sidhra Fernando-Plant

Canva Software Engineer

I graduated from Viewbank College in 2019 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Computer Science at RMIT, which I completed last year. I am currently a Software Engineer at Canva, and I love coding as I find the problem-solving and creativity involved to be really enjoyable.

Student Panel
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