Each of the recipients – Distinguished Professor Graham Farquhar, Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson, Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer, Dr Jane Elith, Dr Ken Silburn and Mrs Rebecca Johnson – is an example of the outstanding talent that lies in Australia’s laboratories and classrooms.
These awards reflect the nation’s pride in the important contribution that science and research make in driving innovation across our economy and creating the jobs of the future.
That is why a Shorten Labor Government will build the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future, and supporting startup businesses and the commercialisation of new ideas in Australia.
Labor will also upskill existing STEM teachers so they can teach with passion and confidence, and ensure that computer coding – the digital language of the 21st century – is taught in every primary and secondary school in Australia.
Labor recognises that a key part of this plan must be to encourage more women to take up careers in STEM disciplines where they are currently under-represented, and it is pleasing to see several talented women scientists recognised tonight.
A Shorten Labor Government will also:
- set a goal for Australia to lift investment in R&D as a proportion of GDP to 3 per cent by 2030;
- wipe student debt for up to 100,000 young people who graduate from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at university, especially women;
- introduce 25,000 teaching scholarships for highly skilled STEM graduates to go on to teach in our schools;
- establish a $500 million Smart Investment Fund to back-in great Australian ideas and help them compete on the world stage;
- work with banks and the finance industry to develop Startup Finance, a partial guarantee scheme which will improve access to finance for Australian micro-businesses;
- create a Startup Year at universities so students can develop their idea, get business knowhow and connect with finance;
- create two new visa classes to attract the best global entrepreneurial talent to help build Australia’s growing startup ecosystem;
- build a new platform for government to engage our best and brightest minds in solving public policy problems based on the US Government’s gov;
- establish an Innovation Investment Partnership, bringing together VC, superannuation fund and startup stakeholders to identify and overcome barriers to investment; and
- develop a National Digital Workforce Plan.
The detail of Labor’s plan to support the jobs of the future can be found at www.futuresmartaustralia.org
More information about the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science winners is available at www.science.gov.au/pmscienceprizes
THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053
THOMAS MOORHEAD (CARR) 0427 126 355