Members of the council are local science professionals dedicated to promoting collaboration and the promotion of science to the wider community. The current members are:
- Chair: Craig Sinclair, PhD (Psychology). Early career researcher/student supervisor. A researcher with interests in palliative care, rural health, rural mental health, Aboriginal health.
- Secretary: Paul Wettin, MSc. Biologist and specialist in environmental water management.
- Treasurer: Randall Jasper, BA, DipEd, Post Grad Dip Sci Tech Policy. Retired, past Business Manager UWA Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management.
- Wal Anderson, PhD. An agronomist with extensive experience in overseas aid projects. Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science.
- Catherine Spaggiari, PhD. Geologist specialising in structural geology and geophysics; Project Manager for the southern region of Western Australia at the Geological Survey of Western Australia.
- Liz Tanner, BSc. Project Officer at South Coast Natural Resource Management. Works to build community capacity and engagement in NRM and coordinates and supports environmental education in the south coast region.
- Andrew Storrie, B.Sci.Agric. An independent agronomist and extension specialist with extensive experience in all aspects of Australian agriculture, now specialising in weed management and pesticide application.
- Leonie Puzey, B.Sc. Dip.Ed. Highly experienced and passionate high school science teacher, who is currently Science Curriculum Coordinator at North Albany Senior High School.
History and Objectives
The Great Southern Science Council was established in late 2011. Following a call for nominations for membership, eight councillors were appointed and first met early in 2012.
The members of the Council agreed on the following nine core objectives:
Vision: Great Southern communities are renowned for being informed participants in science and innovation for the improvement of the social and natural world.
Our purpose: The purpose of the Great Southern Science Council is to act as an advocate and independent voice for science, through education and engagement initiatives, to foster a culture of science and strengthen partnerships for effective collaboration in the Great Southern.
- Listen, liaise, debate, consider and represent active and effective science
- Through consultation with relevant organisations, identify the needs, knowledge gaps and capacities and set priorities for science
- Improve communication between scientists and local communities
- Assist the attraction of resources for scientific research, development and education in the region
- Encourage the teaching of science in schools and further education
- Encourage cross-disciplinary research, especially between scientists working in different organisations and between the natural and social sciences
- Advocate and provide advice to governments, industry, science institutions and community
The members believe that the Science Council initiative will address a need for improved coordination and integration of sciences in a region that is increasingly recognised for its unique biodiversity and tourism. To achieve this the GSSC will encourage and link academic, industry and applied researchers with local communities and organisations to improve knowledge and sustainable management of the region.
Through industry, schools, universities, technical institutions, government departments and adult education, GSSC will highlight the value of science and innovation and their roles - a task which is clearly important in the state as a whole, as well as the region. The GSSC will also provide a voice and advocacy for a cross-section of sciences and cross-disciplinary research where appropriate in the Great Southern, with a view to encouraging links between local, statewide and international researchers.
Focus on 2016
The GSSC continues to be involved in convening and supporting many local science activities in the region including the Great Southern Science Symposium, 'Science Rocks' forum and resources posters for schools.
Actions/strategies for 2016:
- Plan for the Great Southern Great Science Symposium 2017
- Continue adding to GSSC website
- Follow up research priorities as identified by the Great Southern Health Science Research priorities workshop
- Meet with universities to promote research opportunities
- Promote local science activities through the media
- Assist with research applications and mentoring for students
- Convene the Science Rocks Careers Event 2016 for high schools
- Develop M.Ed options and projects
- Provide support for science teachers in conjunction with STAWA
- Promote Citizen Science opportunities
- Consider ways to support laboratory technicians
- Involve TAFE in activities promoting science
- Develop monthly 'Science in the Community' events
- Convene regular 'Social Science' meetings at the Three Anchors
- Liaise with the Office of Chief Scientist
Interested? Want to get involved?
If you are a science professional and think you have the time and skills to enhance the GSSC, please
a covering letter and current CV to GSSC. Your application will be considered during the next round of GSSC membership nominations.