Full house at Diving into Boola Bardip

It was a full house for the Diving into Boola Bardip Women in Science event. Our three magnificent speakers, Dr Lisa Kirkendale, Dr Zoe Richards and Dr Nerida Wilson from the WA Museum, kept the audience spellbound with their personal stories of how they became interested in science and the challenges and opportunities presented with their work as marine biologists.

Zontians, friends and family were joined by students and staff from Perth Modern School for this night that celebrated women in STEM.

Our speakers talked of their childhood, their student years and their current research. They showed how you could go to a country school hundreds of kilometres from the sea and still have an ocean-based career. They stressed the importance of maths in their work. We laughed as they demonstrated how they tied a simple plastic washing up brush to the arm of a multi million dollar robotic submarine – and wiggled it to attract squids and other creatures of the deep. The creatures rubbed themselves on the brush, leaving small amounts of tissue on the bristles. The tissue was analysed for its DNA and this helped to identify new species!

They had species named after them. They worked in the tropics. They worked in Antarctica. They were generous, intelligent and witty. They loved their work and were eager to share it answering questions with enthusiasm before, during and after the event.

To us land-lubbers, they impressed us with their bravery as they worked in an environment inhabited by sharks and sea snakes – often at very close quarters. On some of the semi submersed coral reefs, they have lookouts posted to keep them safe from crocodiles. They are working on the front line of climate change and have travelled the world in their work. What a life!

After the presentations, the raffle was drawn for the luxury mini-break at COMO the Treasury. Sarah Josey was the lucky winner.

Many thanks go to the fabulous speakers who made the event such a success, to KPMG and their staff for the venue and to COMO the Treasury for its wonderful raffle prize. Over $4,5000 was raised from this wonderful evening and funds will go towards Zonta’s health and education projects.

  • Zonta Says YES to gender equality.
  • Zonta Says NO to violence against women.
  • Zonta Says NOW to gender equality and climate action.

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