Joining SAGE as the engagement and secretariat officer, Telitha Schroedl brings her expertise in stakeholder engagement and executive support. Telitha has a BA from the Australia National University and was the recipient of the Anthony Forge academic prize for Anthropology in 2010. Her knowledge of anthropology, psychology and gender studies gives Telitha a unique perspective on social issues. With a passion for gender equality and diversity, Telitha is excited to contribute to improving gender equity in science on a national scale.
Prior to her commencement with SAGE, Telitha was an executive officer at NICTA (Australia’s largest research centre dedicated to ICT) as well as the coordinator of NICTA’s ehealth living laboratory. Telitha has also worked for organisations such as the Australian National University and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
We welcome Dr Saraid Billiards to the SAGE team in the role of Head of Strategy & Engagement. Prior to her secondment to SAGE, Saraid was the Director of the Research Grants team at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). She was responsible for managing and delivering several funding schemes including Project Grants, Development Grants, Targeted Calls for Research and International Collaborations with an annual budget of approximately $500 million. Saraid is also responsible for NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Committee – established to identify barriers and enablers to the progression and retention of women in health and medical research.
Saraid has a PhD in neurophysiology from Monash University. After completing her PhD in 2003, Saraid worked for five years in the Department of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School focusing on the underlying neuropathology of perinatal brain injury with particular focus on cerebral palsy and stillbirth. Upon her return to Australia, Saraid continued her research at Melbourne University before taking up a position at NHMRC.
It is now almost four months since I was appointed to the role of Executive Director SAGE, and so it is timely that I share updates on my journey so far.
Along with Dr Saraid Billiards, our new Head of Strategy & Engagement, I have been on the road convening workshops, holding the inaugural meeting of the SAGE Expert Advisory Group (EAG) and conducting SAGE institutional visits across Australia.
The August workshops provided us an excellent opportunity to meet representatives from most of the institutions participating in the SAGE pilot and to gather feedback on their experience and progress through thus far. We also explored views and insights on the suitability of the Athena Swan accreditation framework for the Australian context and elements that will require adaptation or de novo development. Importantly, we learnt about the range of workplace issues emerging from data analyses and the many good practices already under way in support of gender equality and diversity; these will no doubt provide an excellent resource for Australian best practices to be shared nationally.
In September, SAGE was host to Sarah Dickinson-Hyams, Head of Equality Charters of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), UK and a member of the SAGE Expert Advisory Group. Sarah worked with us around training support from the ECU, access to ECU guidance and resources and planning to establish the Assessment Panels in readiness for the first set of Athena SWAN Bronze application submissions due in quarter 1 of 2018.
September also saw us progress visitation to the institutions taking part in the second cohort of the pilot, meeting with senior leaders and other staff members responsible for working on the Athena SWAN Bronze Application. It is rewarding to share the excitement and commitment of the charter members, and to experience first-hand the many approaches and activities institutes put in train upon launching their SAGE journey.
I can certainly say that it has been a busy and rewarding three months, characterised by insightful learning coupled with passion and commitment to advance gender equality and diversity in STEMM across the Australian higher education and research sectors.
So, while it feels like plenty has happened we know there is much more to do over the coming months.
The Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering have appointed Dr Wafa El-Adhami to lead their Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Initiative.
With a research background in molecular biology and microbiology, Dr El-Adhami has held a number of senior management positions in the Australian Government, including the Department of Health and Ageing, the Office of Chemical Safety and the Occupational Health and Safety Commission. More recently she has worked internationally as a consultant specialising in health policy, regulation and clinical solutions. Read more
What can stars and planets beyond our solar system teach us about gender equity? Does it matter how we tell our scientific stories? And who do we think of when we imagine effective science? In celebration of International Women’s Day, SAGE Project Officer Dr Rachel Morgain presented her research on gender in astronomy, physics and Doctor Who to the Policy and Projects Section at Australian Academy of Science, on behalf of SAGE.
The SAGE team welcomes new recruit, Dr Rachel Morgain, who joins us in the role of Project Officer. She has a PhD in anthropology, with a background in Physics, has undertaken research in Australia, North America and the Pacific.