Finding treatments for today and cures for tomorrow
Dr Jayakody, from Ear Science Institute Australia, supported by RPH Research Foundation and Adjunct at The University of Western Australia, has today been announced as one of Australia’s newest Superstars of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM).
Dr Dona Jayakody has made it her life’s mission to help reduce the number of people diagnosed with dementia by understanding the number one risk factor – hearing loss.
Dr Jayakody, from Ear Science Institute Australia, supported by RPH Research Foundation and Adjunct at The University of Western Australia, has today been announced as one of Australia’s newest Superstars of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM). Dr Dona Jayakody has made it her life’s mission to help reduce the number of people diagnosed with dementia by understanding the number one risk factor – hearing loss.
Dr Jayakody, who is deputy head of the Brain and Hearing group at Ear Science Institute Australia, an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, UWA and Career Advancement Research Fellow, with the Royal Perth Hospital Research Foundation, is one of 60 diverse brilliant scientists who want to step into the media spotlight as STEM experts.
Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic MP made the announcement today and congratulated the newest Superstars of STEM on stepping into the public arena to help inspire future generations of diverse young Australians.
The need to boost diversity in our science, technology, engineering and mathematics sector is urgent,” he said.
There are huge skills shortages that can be addressed if we put our minds and collective effort to it – which means we have to draw deeply on our nation’s expertise from all corners of the community. By doing so, we can deliver a stellar boost to our national economy and enable Australia to meet the growing demand for STEM-trained workers.
Mr Husic said he had always been a fan of the way the Superstars of STEM program pushes to deliver a diverse STEM workforce and ensures the next generation of scientists and technologists have visible role models.
I just know these talented experts and communicators will play their part in inspiring Australia’s young people – from all backgrounds – into science and technology,” he said.
Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said the program gave women and non-binary talent in STEM the crucial skills and confidence to step into expert commentary roles in the media.
Superstars of STEM is powerfully shifting the dial on diversity in Australia’s science and technology sectors,’ Ms Shubert said.
The Australian Government’s investment in this world-leading program bolsters diversity in a sector that will shape our future economy. We are so grateful for it.
Dr Jayakody said she was thrilled to have been chosen from a highly-competitive national field.
When I was a little girl, I dreamt of helping people. I studied hard, and I found great mentors to guide me. Now I want to mentor the next generation of scientists who are dreaming of how they can make this world a better one. I want to join the Superstars in STEM program to learn how to share my love of science and inspire the next generation of female scientists, she said.
Ear Science Institute Australia is committed to supporting all programs that increase the opportunities for girls and women to explore and succeed in STEM and has been a long-standing supporter of this program.
Sandra Bellekom, Chief Operating Officer at Ear Science Institute Australia, congratulates Dr Jayakody for making a national impact in the field of hearing sciences.
This prestigious program aims to disrupt society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in STEM. I am exceptionally proud of all the work our team does as we enhance the lives of people with ear and hearing disorders through research, education and treatment,” Ms Bellekom.
Professor Lyn Beazley AO, RPH Research Foundation’s Board Chair, is a passionate advocate for STEM and applauds Dr Jayakody for her work inspiring the next generation of health researchers. As Chief Scientist for Western Australia (the first female to hold such a role nationally), Professor Beazley championed gender diversity and science for students.
The RPH Research Foundation is proud to support Dr Dona Jayakody’s research as she inspires new ideas and game-changing innovations in STEM,” Professor Beazley AO.
About Superstars of STEM
Superstars of STEM is an Science & Technology Australia initiative funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources. The next 60 Superstars of STEM will join the program in 2023 and 2024.
The program selects 60 women and non-binary STEM experts through a highly competitive selection process. It gives them the training, confidence, networks and experience to become sought-after media commentators as experts in their fields.
About Science & Technology Australia
Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 105,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.