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  • Writer's pictureEmilio De Stefano

SA Science Excellence Awards

Last Friday night I was fortunate enough to attend the 2017 SA Science Excellence Awards at the Adelaide Convention Centre as a finalist in the category of STEM Professional. Congratulations to Dr Duncan Taylor of Forensic Science SA who took out the award and to all other winners on the night, including Prof James Paton – 2017 South Australian Scientist of the Year.

STEM Professional finalist video produced by Department of State Development

In Year 11 I had a maths teacher who pulled me aside and said "Emilio, you might as well forget doing Maths 2 in Year 12 as there's no way you'll pass". It wasn't until I enrolled in an engineering degree that I really understood 'why' I was doing maths and once I understood 'why', it all became so much easier. My point is - often it is those closest to you that can bring you down! Thankfully, over the years I've learnt to surround myself with supportive people and I've been lucky enough to have so many people believe in me more than I did, including some great mentors, previous employers and good friends. Thank you to you all for helping me get to where I have to date.

Receiving my STEM Professional Finalist Certificate from Hon Susan Close MP

Finally, I'd like to thank the Department of State Development and the South Australian Government for putting on this great awards program, which recognises and raises awareness for the critical importance of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills in our great state. It is these skills that will determine just how successful we are in making the transition from a traditional manufacturing-based economy to a knowledge-based one. Although we already have a flourishing start-up/entrepreneurial scene, a thriving defence industry and a world-class education sector, the challenge for a prosperous future will be developing the STEM pipeline of talent to match and this will in large part rely on our STEM educators. These guys and girls have the difficult job of inspiring our future generations to take up a STEM-based career and we must do all we can to support them! Here's to a bright STEM future!

More information on the SA Science Excellence Awards including 2017 winners and finalists as well as previous winners and finalists can be found at:

I can be contacted about any of the above including to comment on STEM related matters via the Contact Us page.

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