First techtrials for Teachers event at John Curtin College in Fremantle

On October 31, 2017, the first techtrails for Teachers STEM & Future Skills Event which aimed to inspire, connect and demystify the jobs of the future for our educators was run at John Curtin College in Fremantle. This event was attended by school principals, deputy principals, teachers, careers counsellors and educators. 

WiTWA’s techtrails incursions program is designed to generate passion, excitement and interest in technology and science based careers to motivate secondary students to explore and pursue related study and career opportunities. Acknowledging the declining numbers of students choosing technology, science and engineering career paths, WiTWA has been able to excite and inspire in excess of 2,000 WA students to increase their awareness and participation in STEM as a career option whilst broadening their knowledge of and participation in the innovation system as a whole since it’s inception in 2011.

Thanks to Australian Government grant funding and industry partners, WiTWA is able to supplement the techtrails STEM incursion program with techtrails for teachers events in October and November 2017. This techtrails for teachers events was specifically designed to enable teachers, careers advisors and educators to hear from and network with a range of technology and entrepreneurial STEM professionals, showcasing a current industry perspective and tangible examples of the application of STEM skills in future proofing our next generation.

To make this event such a success, our thanks go to:

  • Prof Lyn Beazley, Patron of WiTWA
  • Anitra Robertson, Surgical RealitiesJessica Baldwin & Jennifer Davies, Kinetic IT
  • Susan Kreemer Pickford Engineers Australia (WA)
  • Erica Haddon, RAC
  • Swati Sharma & Kate Langdale, British Telecom at Fiona Stanley Hospital and
  • the wonderful teams at The Institute for Professional Learning and
  • John Curtin Secondary College.

Leading with humour: A WiTWA techtrails Alumni Principal rises to the occasion

They say that laughter can cure a multitude of ills. It is also the mark of a great leader. So we could not help but admire Mr Saeed Amin, Principal of Broome Senior High School, whose parting leadership gift to the current year 12 cohort was an "impromptu" dance performance to Beyonce's hit song Put a Ring on It. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Mr Amin and his wonderful team when we took our WiTWA techtrails STEM incursion to Broome at the end of 2016. 

Watch his dance moves here - it's trending! We are sure Mr Amin's moves will be remembered by the graduating students for years' to come. It will make you smile, we promise!

WiTWA techtrails visits Ocean Reef SHS & Belridge Secondary College

On 17 October, the WiTWA team brought our techtrails STEM & Future Skills Incursion to Ocean Reef SHS (, where we presented to 150+ year 9 students from Ocean Reef SHS and Belridge Secondary College. For this incursion we had another fantastic and inspirational group of STEM professionals, industry experts and entrepreneurs meet the students and share their stories and experiences.

Thank you to all who made this event possible, and especially to our generous group of STEM professionals for making themselves available and agreeing to share their personal techtrail stories to inspire the next generation:

  • Lakshini Weerasekera, Harry Perkin Institute for Medical Research
  • Alex Hickling, WA Museum
  • Nikki Foster & Para O'Kelly, Thoughtworks
  • Hilary Goh, Mine Vision Systems
  • Kirsten Flint, Scitech
  • Jessica Kemp, Shell Australia
  • Ellie Sansom, Desert Fireball Network
  • Trevor Dunstan, Kinetic IT

The students from both schools were an absolutely pleasure to meet and all staff involved made the occasion a seamless and fun day. Our special thanks to Karon Brooks, Principal of Ocean Reef SHS, Maggie Glover, VET and Workplace Learning Coordinator Ocean Reef SHS, Warren Smith, Deputy Principal Ocean Reef SHS, as well as John Burke, Principal Belridge Secondary College and Liz Cassidy, Technology and Enterprise, Belridge Secondary College.

We would also like to acknowledge the support provided by the Australian Government enabling us to deliver techtrails to over thousands of secondary school students in WA throughout 2017.  Take a look at some of the photos capturing the event by visiting our stories page at

Australia's National Science Statement 2017 released

The government has just released Australia's National Science Statement with a vision of setting a long‑term approach to science, providing guidance for government investment and decision making and clarity on strategic aims.

"The Australian government has established Innovation and Science Australia as an independent statutory body with responsibility for providing strategic whole‑of‑government advice on all science, research and innovation matters. The government tasked Innovation and Science Australia to review the performance of the innovation, science and research system and to develop a strategic plan for the period from now to 2030—called the 2030 Strategic Plan—with recommendations for government, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

In this context, the National Science Statement sets out the government's enduring science objectives and principles. It also positions the government to respond to the science elements of the 2030 Strategic Plan in a considered and targeted manner. The Statement will continue to provide guidance for the government's other science‑related policies and initiatives into the future." 

To access Australia's National Science Statement click here.

WiTWA techtrails STEM incursion @Warnbro Community College

Thank you Kya Graves, Principal and the wonderful teaching staff at Warnbro Community College for hosting our 7th WITWA techtrails STEM incursion for the year. We were joined by Professor Lyn Beazley, Patron of WITWA for our opening session, with Darren Lomman from Bloom Labs as one of our STEM role models who presented to the year 9 students.

Au revoir ..... which actually means 'see you again' Taryn!

As many in our network will have realised by now, we unfortunately recently had to bid Taryn Musgrave goodbye as she relocated herself and her wonderful family to beautiful Canada on the other side of the globe. Pursuing new ventures will no doubt create fantastic opportunities for them, but for us here at WiTWA it was a sad occasion to say goodbye to our fabulous Committee member.  

Taryn was instrumental in broadening our WiTWA networks and adding further diversity in thinking to our conversations. During her time on the WITWA Committee Taryn created some powerful new networking initiatives, including what have now become our very popular bi-monthly Cheeky Sparrow Meetups, as well as our dynamic TECHXchange program. Having been responsible for organising and coordinating many interesting and informative sessions, Taryn's legacy will hopefully continue to thrive as both these initiatives grow. We know that feedback from our WITWA members has been thoroughly positive! In her role as WITWA Treasurer, Taryn also added her broad knowledge of tech solutions into the mix, enabling further growth and streamlining many of our internal processes.

We would like to thank Taryn for the two years of dedication and hard work she spent advocating for women in technology since joining the WITWA committee in mid-2015. Taryn, we wish you all the best for the future and your Canadian adventures!

Au Revoir & Best Wishes from all of us here at WiTWA.

WiTWA welcomes Lucie Hammond and Donna Edwards to the Committee

We are delighted to welcome Lucie Hammond and Donna Edwards to the WiTWA Committee.

Lucie Hammond is an entrepreneur with a huge amount of energy for learning, growth and realising people potential through new and emerging disruptive technology. With a background in corporate communications, change, psychotherapy and executive coaching she is well placed to explore enterprise needs for the future of work.

Lucie is Founder and CEO of Diversifly, a start-up specialising in learning and development through virtual reality, with a particular focus on the people and leadership skills that she believes will differentiate humans from bots in the coming age of automation.

As the State Delivery Manager with Readify, Donna Edwards has been building amazing teams for over seventeen years. Donna leads the WA team working with clients and the team to ensure they are delivering value and solving complex business problems. Previous to this, she was a General Manager at Ignia which grew from a 25 person locally-focussed development shop to one of the largest and most respected technology solutions consultancies in Perth. Donna is a regular speaker at community events on topics around diversity, employee engagement, talent management and business growth.

Both bring a broad range of experience, as well as a great deal of enthusiasm to the Committee. Welcome on board ladies!

WiTWA farewells Sheryl Frame from WiTWA Committee

It is with much sadness that we see the departure of Sheryl Frame from the WiTWA Committee. Sheryl has been a longstanding and invaluable contributor to the Committee since starting out as a volunteer on the second WiTWA Go Girl ICT initiative in 2006.

Since then Sheryl’s experience, advice and significant contributions to WiTWA , gained in senior management and board-positions in Australia and overseas, as well as through her many years working to commercialise innovative technology-based businesses, have shaped the strategic direction and focus of WiTWA for more than a decade.

As Vice-Chair for Stakeholder Engagement, Affiliations and Sponsorships, Sheryl has been instrumental in making WiTWA the success it is today.

Thank you for all you have done Sheryl! We wish you all the very best for the future. You will be greatly missed.

DIVERSIFLY promote STEM to entrepreneurs of the future

The WiTWA Techtrails STEM school incursion program is only possible as a result of the many wonderful STEM professionals who volunteer their time to present and talk to our Techtrails students. All do so taking time out of their busy schedules, but always seemingly with a smile on their face.  Lucy Hammond, founder of local edu-tech start-up Diversifly VR and initiator of many other interesting projects, was one of our recent Techtrails presenters to Butler College in Perth's northern suburbs.

Following her visit, Diversifly VR wrote a short blog about the experience. "Lucie spoke on her less traditional journey to STEM. Her message to students came from both personal and professional experience, and a combination of her time spent within corporates, as a ‘working mother’ and as a consultant running Women in Leadership programs before embarking on Diversifly’s mission to train super-humans for the future of work using virtual reality."  To read the full blog click here.  Thank you Lucy and Diversifly VR for sharing your passion and experience with the next generation!

WA TECHXchange: First Impressions, Visibility & Connectivity via Linkedin

Limited tickets still available!

There still are a handful of tickets available to our next TECHXchange @the Cheeky Sparrow on July 19.  This is your chance to consider whether your LinkedIn profile is in need of an update. Are you using your profile to your advantage? Is it written in a relevant way to your career now? How do you craft a profile that will make a great first impression, create visibility and enable you to leverage connectivity?

Come along and hear Jo Saunders of Wildfire Social Marketing address these questions and offer a handful of meaningful tips for using LinkedIn.  Look out for Jo’s upcoming book ‘Get Good or Get Off - A guide to getting it right on social media.’ Discover more about Jo before the evening @

Tickets available via Meetup or Eventbrite.

Curtin Ignition: your time to get that idea off the ground? Scholarship opportunity for women in tech

Do you have an idea or innovation that could become a high growth business? The Curtin Ignition Program is run by the Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship and is based on the successful Ignite program managed and delivered by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL).

Ignition is a five and a half day intensive program which prepares you for taking your idea to the business world. The experience includes a blend of practical teaching sessions, expert clinics, mentor sessions and experienced advice and support from leading entrepreneurs and innovators. To find out more and see if you may fit the scholarship criteria simply contact Danelle Cross, Director of the Centre of Entrepreneurship at  

There are multiple categories for scholarships, so don't be shy and don't presume that you are not ready. Too often we miss out on opportunities because we don't take a chance! This may be your time to get that idea off the ground. Click here to find out more.



Women in STEM - your opinion can make a difference - Global Survey open now

According to last year's Gender Scan, Women represent on average 30% of all STEM graduates in the world. That means there is a lot of room for improvement! To ensure that women equally contribute to tomorrow's innovations, please consider participating in the International GenderScan 2017 Survey.  Your opinion (all genders are encouraged to participate), can make a huge difference for building up awareness of top decision makers, and make further progress. 

Complete the survey at If we have more than 150 WITWA referrals to the survey we will receive free extraction of benchmarking data for us to share with all! Simply add Women in Technology WA in the survey when prompted. Results of last year's survey date can be found here. Thank you!


Funding Grants for Women's Leadership Development available - closing soon!

Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s resources and engineering sector. The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $8,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs. 

The leadership development programs are part-time and delivered nationally. Scholarship funding is strictly limited and has to be allocated prior to the end of this financial year (June 30). Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form prior to June 16, 2017:

Techtrails @John Curtin College of the Arts

Our third WiTWA techtrail STEM School incursion for the year saw us visit John Curtin College of the Arts in Fremantle on 3 May. Last year the school won the WA Secondary School of the Year Award in the WA Education Awards, as well as taking out the Governor’s School STEM Award for Leadership Excellence in a Secondary School. To add to students' thinking around the importance of STEM and how STEM skills are applied in industry and a wide variety of professions, we showcased a fantastic group of STEM professionals as part of our techtrails incursion.

The morning started off with a very special guest opening our presentations - Ms Rachel Cooke, Consul General of the United States of America. Hers is a story that proves how STEM skills can indeed take you down many wonderful and exciting roads.  With a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Master degrees in Environmental Management and Public Policy from Indiana University, Rachel's career has seen her work for the Environmental Protection Agency and for NASA. She later joined the Foreign Service and at one stage was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand teaching fish farming. Rachel certainly held the students' attention with her story of self discovery and ongoing professional curiosity.

Our pod groups then rotated throughout the morning for the opportunity to meet and hear from each of our other fabulous speakers:

  • Ms Rachael Zeme, from the Tumour Immunology Group, National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases at UWA Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Rachel is an Alumni of John Curtin College of the Arts and it is where she first discovered her love for science, particularly in the area of biology. Planning to pursue her passion, she went to study biological sciences at university, when something else caught her eye - biomedical science. A whole new world of how disease develops and progresses; and better yet, what we can do about it opened up to Rachael. This is where she discovered her interest in studying the immune system.
  • Darren Lomman Executive Officer, Bloom / Managing Director, Green Batch / Director of Youth Innovation, St Catherine College. Darren shared his story from building motorcycles for people in wheelchairs to his latest social enterprise - MY PET Project turning recycled PET plastic into 3D printer filament enabling any school with a 3D printer to turn themselves into a micro-recycling plant. Darren has won a whole swag of awards including WA Young Australian of the Year, WA Citizen of the Year, and recently was named by the United Nation’s JCI at one of the Top 10 Most Outstanding Young People of the World.
  • Dr Brenda Lai who shared her journey from first discovering Photoshop when she was 13, and spending countless and sleepless nights working on art projects throughout high school, to now being the co-founder of Feedmee App.  Feedmee is Australia’s latest restaurant discovery app, with a mission to help fight hunger and homeless issues in Australia. The app was launched in September 2016. Since then, it has ranked top 30 on iTunes Free Food and Drink category across Australia.
  • Dennis Savic, CEO of DESAV Design. Having grown up in Perth, Dennis knew from a young age he wanted to design and build his own vehicles. So he finished school, went to university, and started working on his vision once he finished his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. Having initially thought he’d never study again, he soon realised that he would need to learn a lot more to build an entirely new industry in Western Australia. 
  • Jessica Baldwin, Kinetic IT. Jessica completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resources and Tourism Management and got her first job working as a recruiter in the Mining and Construction Sector. After nearly four years in this sector she decided it was time to gather some new experiences and seek work in a new industry which landed her the opportunity to work at Kinetic IT and get immersed in the technology world.  
  • Peter Yorke, Kinetic IT.  Peter has an interest in all things hacking, security and digital forensics and in his spare time is completing his Master’s Degree in Cyber Security.  He started his career in technology with Kinetic IT but a few years later he decided to take a career change and followed his childhood dream to become a Police Officer. He worked in various police stations throughout Perth and in the country before joining WA Police’s Technology Crime squad as a Police Sergeant. Peter loved the security and incident response side of IT so much that after ten years he decided to go back to Kinetic IT in an IT security focused role. 
  • Dylan Pratt, Computer Systems Engineer from Surgical Realities. Dylan has always been fascinated by technology and grew up pulling apart computers and making games. Dylan has a Bach in Science from UWA as well as a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Curtin. Dylan now works with Surgical Realities where he focuses on research and development of virtual reality, augmented reality and rehabilitation technologies in the health industry. A typical day can range from testing technologies during a live surgical procedure to playing with robots and designing new software for a virtual immersion.
  • Ms Libby Howlett, Chief Environmental Advisor, Quadrant Energy. After completing her first science degree, Libby volunteered her time and then got paid to assist others in studying marine fish, worms and other sea creatures on the Great Barrier Reef. She found her passion and continued working in marine research at the Australian Museum and University of Sydney whilst completing a Master of Science Degree in Marine Ecology. Today after 18 years in the oil and gas industry, Libby now holds the position of Chief Environment Advisor for Quadrant Energy and is able to influence and strive for better environmental outcomes from human use of the ocean.
  • Gary Cass, Creative Scientist. Gary is based in Perth and has been a key creative collaborator with many international arts and sciences projects; including Fermented Fashion, the first dresses in the world made from wine and beer. Gary believes that “creativity is as important as literacy and numeracy.” His collaborative projects have been exhibited around the world including; a fringe event at the Venice Biennale and Documenta Germany; Trinity College Science Gallery, Ireland; Signature Art Prize in Singapore; and ArtStays Slovenia. His newest project, iDNAtity audio – making music from your genes!

Thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors and volunteers for bringing another techtrail STEM incursion to life in WA! To see what the school thought about the day and some photos of how techtrails unfolded, take a peek below and also have a look at the John Curtin College of the Arts newsletter article the school published online.

Scholarships for Female Entrepreneurs to the 2017 Curtin Growth Ignition Program

Ladies, it looks like the 2017 Curtin Growth Ignition Program is about to kick off again and commendably, there is a concerted push to encourage female entrepreneurs to apply.  The program is an intensive 1 week training program aimed at founders of an early stage business eg anyone with an idea for a new or improved product or service! 

They are looking for people with a passion for developing an idea into a real business - all over one week. Any industry or background is applicable. This year there are 36 scholarships on offer for a diverse group of entrepreneurs. Check out Information sessions are coming up soon.

A study reveals why Russia is so good at encouraging women into tech

The BBC NEWS recently published an interesting article on women in tech in Russia and the results may surprise! According to Unesco, 29% of people in scientific research worldwide are women, compared with 41% in Russia. In the UK, about 4% of inventors are women, whereas the figure is 15% in Russia. It appears that Russian girls view STEM far more positively, with their interest starting earlier and lasting longer.

"Most of the girls we talked to from other countries had a slightly playful approach to STEM, whereas in Russia, even the very youngest were extremely focused on the fact that their future employment opportunities were more likely to be rooted in STEM subjects." Julian Lambertin, Managing Director at KRC Research, the firm that oversaw the Microsoft interviews.

Girls cited parental encouragement and female role models as key, as well as female teachers who outnumber their male colleagues presiding over a curriculum viewed as gender neutral. The differences don't stop there. Read the full article here 


WiTWA techtrails @ Cecil Andrews College Photo Gallery

Our second WiTWA Techtrails STEM School incursion for the year saw us visit Cecil Andrews College in Seville Grove on 29 March. Thank you Susan Kreemer Pickford (Engineers Australia), Darren Lomman (Green Batch & Bloom), Kelly Benson (ThoughWorks), Lisle Nurse (Kinetic IT), Julia Vella (Kinetic IT), Bernadette Bosco-Joseph & Huili Leow (Seqta), Brenda Lai (Feed Mee App), Lieutenant-Commander Felicity Petrie (Royal Australian Navy), Dr Nina Sellars (SymbioticA Biological Arts Laboratory UWA) and Oliver Gray (Fastbrick Robotics) for inspiring over 100 Year 9 secondary students and sharing with them your passion, excitement and dedication to your diverse STEM professions and projects.

WiTWA CIO Leaders Forum photo gallery

Thank you to our event partner KPMG, our keynote speaker Professor Craig Valli (Director, ECU Security Research Institute) and panel of cybersecurity experts Emma Whitty (Vice President, Information Systems at Clough Ltd), Jackie Shervington (Strategic Growth Manager with BankVault) and Mourad Khalil (Technology Risk Advisory expert at KPMG) for bringing the CIO Leaders Forum back in 2017.