Invited speakers

Keynote presenters

Professor Lisa Harvey Smith

Lisa Harvey-Smith

University of New South Wales

Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith is the Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador and a Professor of Practice in Science Communication at the University of New South Wales. As Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, she advises the Australian Government on gender equity in STEM. Her Office works with the business, education and government sectors to increase the participation of women and girls in STEM education and careers. Her office achieves this through a combination of education, research, advocacy, and policy advice. 

Harvey-Smith is a Ph.D. astrophysicist with 20 years of experience in scientific research, including the use of supercomputers to gain insights from complex data on the evolution of stars, galaxies and black holes. She has written more than 50 academic publications and led global research teams. She was previously the project scientist at CSIRO for both the Square Kilometre Array – a continent-spanning next-generation radio telescope that will survey billions of years of cosmic history – and its precursor, the $188M Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope. She is a recipient of the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal and the Eureka Prize for Promoting the Understanding of Australian Science Research.

Harvey-Smith presented on ABC Television’s popular science series Stargazing Live and has appeared live on stage with Apollo astronauts including Buzz Aldrin. She is a TEDx speaker, regular science media commentator and author of five popular science books including the international children’s bestseller Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime.

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Joanne Jamie

Macquarie University

Associate Professor Joanne Jamie is a Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemist at the School of Natural Sciences at Macquarie University. Her current research is focused on collaborative partnerships with Indigenous communities for documentation, biological screening and isolation of bioactive compounds from ‘bush’ foods and medicines and community capability strengthening; the design of radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosis and treatment of cancers and other diseases; and the development of STEM educational programs and evaluation of their effectiveness for empowering youth under-represented in higher education.

As part of research on customary medicinal plants, Joanne and Yaegl Aboriginal Elders together have co-authored journal articles and developed a bush medicine handbook for use in education and cultural tourism, as well as facilitated a Cultural Immersion Program – The River of Learning.  As a best ethical practice extension to this research, Joanne has also established with the Elders, school staff and fellow STEM academics, the National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP, nisep.org.au), which empowers Indigenous secondary school students as STEM leaders.  NISEP has received various awards including the 2019 inaugural Australian Museum Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion and the 2021 AFR Higher Education Opportunity and Inclusion Award. Joanne has also been recognised for her work with Aboriginal communities through the 2019 Macquarie University Reconciliation Award and a 2019 Royal Australian Chemical Institute Citation. Expanding on NISEP, Joanne is currently coordinating Future STEM Gen, a program aimed at providing students from low socioeconomic status regions the opportunity to lead STEM Maker projects themed around smart gardens, sustainable energy sources and water purification. To aid sustainability and build layers of role models, Joanne, along with husband Ian Jamie, developed and convenes the Macquarie University subject Engaging the Community in Science, which allows Macquarie undergraduate students to contribute to and increase the capacity of NISEP, Future STEM Gen and other STEM engagement.

Dr Lavern Samuels
Lavern Samuels

International Education and Partnerships (IEP)  Directorate at the Durban University of Technology

Dr Samuels is the current Director of the International Education and Partnerships (IEP)  Directorate at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). He was the Senate Representative on the University Council  and the Council EXCO for 16 years. He is also the immediate past Chairperson of the DUT Institutional Forum, a position he held for 14 years. Dr Samuels is also the Vice-President  and immediate past Chairperson of the Directors Forum of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). 

Dr Samuels has accumulated a number of years of vast experience in internationalisation, having also served as the president of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). He served five years on the Foreign Qualifications Committee of the South African Qualifications Authority(SAQA). In addition, he is also a current Board Member of the International Centre for Non-Violence (ICON) and the ML Sultan Charitable and Educational Trust.

Having come from the field of Health Science, Dr Samuels has also served as the Academic Heads of the Departments of Dental Sciences and Environmental Health in the DUT Faculty of Health Sciences. While in the Faculty of Health Science, he also served as the Deputy Dean and Acting Executive Dean prior to his current role. Dr Samuels served a five year term as a board member of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and served on the Ethics Monitoring Advisory Committee of the internationally funded Reducing HIV in Adolescents research project. He is currently a member of the steering committee of the International Virtual Exchange Conference (IVEC) and represents South Africa on the Network of International Education Associations (NIEA), the pique global body for international education.