From Professor Veena Sahajwalla and Dr Dana Bergstrom to Dr Melina Georgousakis and Professor Kerrylee Rogers, the Australian Museum is proud to have recognised the achievements of many exceptional women throughout the Eureka Prizes’ 33 year history. This International Women’s Day, we reflect on some of the most recent recipients, who include trailblazing researchers, an interdisciplinary team and a young filmmaker.
Who Professor Veena Sahajwalla, UNSW
What Materials scientist and engineer Professor Veena Sahajwalla is the pioneering inventor of a new generation of ‘green’ materials and sustainable products. Through her rigorous research and extensive community and industry engagement, she is shifting the mindset of the nation to see unwanted materials not as waste, but as a valuable resource.
Awarded the 2022 Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science
Who Dr Dana M. Bergstrom, Australian Antarctic Division and University of Wollongong
What For decades, Dr Dana M. Bergstrom has championed evidence-based science in biodiversity, biosecurity and the impacts of climate change. Skilled at science translation and distilling complexity, she has led the exploration of ecosystem collapse from Australia’s tropics to Antarctica, delivering innovative options for modern conservation.
Awarded the 2021 Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science
Who Lindell Bromham, Felicity Meakins, Xia Hua and Cassandra Algy, Australian National University; University of Queensland; and Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation
What Bringing together an Indigenous community member, linguist, mathematician and biologist, this team is studying Gurindji, an Indigenous language of northern Australia. Their research is developing new ways to understand the processes of language change and factors that help keep Indigenous languages strong and vibrant.
Awarded the 2021 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research
Who Professor Julie Bines, Murdoch Children's Research Institute and University of Melbourne
What Rotavirus is a major cause of death among children and despite evidence of vaccine effectiveness, significant barriers to access remain. Professor Julie Bines is leading the development of RV3-BB, a safe, effective and affordable newborn rotavirus vaccine that will prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis from birth, potentially saving thousands of lives.
Awarded the 2021 Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research
Who Professor Kerrylee Rogers, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong
What Professor Kerrylee Rogers is a professor in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences at the University of Wollongong, a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability and the mum of two teenage boys. She’s made a significant contribution to our understanding of how coastal and aquatic ecosystems respond to climate change, work that earned her and her fellow researchers recognised in the 2019 Eureka Prizes.
Awarded the 2019 NSW Environment, Energy and Science (DPIE) Eureka Prize for Environmental Research (co-winner)
Who Dr Emma Camp, University of Technology Sydney
What Dr Emma Camp’s discovery of corals thriving in extreme conditions is informing new adaptive management solutions in both Australia and abroad. Together with government and nature conservation agencies, she is developing improved management strategies for coral reefs worldwide, while using her work as a platform to advocate for action on climate change.
Awarded the 2021 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher
Who Dr Tess Reynolds, University of Sydney
What By developing technology to better guide robotic imaging during surgery, Dr Tess Reynolds is improving the view for surgeons as well as outcomes for patients. Partnering with the world’s largest medical device company, her pioneering techniques offer clearer, more complete images for complex cardiac and spinal surgery.
Awarded the 2022 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher
Who Dr Melina Georgousakis, Franklin Women
What Dr Melina Georgousakis is committed to developing the next generation of Australia’s researchers and ensuring that women are equally represented among them. Through the establishment of Franklin Women, she is providing the infrastructure for a sector-first mentoring program, delivering events and building a community to foster the establishment of new mentoring relationships.
Awarded the 2021 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers
Who Genevieve S., Bucasia State School
What In her short film Adaptation: Now That’s Change! Genevieve examines how animals fit into their environment and what they must do to survive if their habitat changes. Combining graphics and close encounters with cuddly — and not-so-cuddly — creatures, she shows how adaptations happen over time and the sort of features that develop to help animals thrive.
Awarded the 2022 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Primary
Who Dr Michelle Blewitt, AUSMAP Program Director, Total Environment Centre
What The Australian Microplastic Assessment Project (AUSMAP) is a world-first, national citizen science program that empowers people of all ages to document microplastic pollution. An immersive experience, participants are educated on the prevalence of microplastics around our waterways and trained to collect scientifically valid data that is used to design effective mitigation strategies for plastic pollution.
Awarded the 2021 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science (co-winner)
Australia has many gifted women in science, let's work together to shine a light on them! Do you know someone leading the way in their field? Make 2023 the year you support them in applying for a Eureka Prize. Entries are now open and close at 7.00pm AEST Friday 14 April.