2018 Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture
Our annual Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture reflects on and celebrates the contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made and continue to make in addressing the national science agenda.
This year we’ll meet two extraordinary women who will share their stories with us.
Miss Karlie Noon will be exploring her research on the Milky Way Galaxy, Indigenous weather predictors and how she became one of the first Aboriginal Australians to enter the field of astrophysics.
Dr Misty Jenkins will discuss her research in the area of immunology and cell biology and the understanding of how immune cells kills cancer.
[Cathy Foley]: I would like to begin by acknowledging the Gnumbri and Ngunnawal people of the Traditional Custodians of the Land who are here today, and I want to pay my respect to the eldest past president emerging, and also acknowledge the traditional owners, past present, who allow us to continue to be on this land in a way which I hope, in the future, we can treat, particularly with the science and technology we’re working on, in a way which we can build on their expertise, their knowledge of such long-enduring care and ongoing understanding of the land, which just took for us, who visitors, are really an anathema to us, and is something we really have a lot to learn about.
So, today, though, we’re here to celebrate Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture. I’ve got a few words so people know who he is and where he came from. I’ve got lots of notes here. First of all, he was a CSIRO employee. He was an expert botanist, and he did make extremely valuable contributions to CSIRO’s research over 3 decades, more than 30 years. He’s CSIRO’s longest serving aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee. He worked out of Darwin Labs as a technical officer from the early 1970s to his retirement in 2002. He was known to have a keen eye, extensive knowledge, and expert bushmanship that helped train several generations of scientists for which we are very grateful. He also had profound influence on the lab as bringing a rich culture with always being happy, singing, whistling, and laughing, and again, bringing forward the importance of that joy, I think.
Jack continued to maintain his association with CSIRO following his retirement, first as an honorary fellow and then as a consultant, the famous way of leaving CSIRO is we never seem to be able to let go, which is fantastic because it’s such a wonderful organisation to work for. Jack was born in the Walipiri country which is 700 kilometres southwest of Darwin in 1935. He was taken away from his family as a young boy and raised in a mission in Tiwi Islands which is 80 kilometres north of Darwin.
He unfortunately died in 2007, but I just want to finish with his supervisor, Dick Williams, actually has a quote. I looked up where he came from, and you know, CSIRO Wikipedia, they have this wonderful quote that explains it. It says: it was always a pleasure and a real highlight and privilege for me. Not too many scientists get to work with aboriginal people in their own country for 15 years, let alone with people of the skill and culture of Jack. Jack’s keen eye, extensive knowledge, and expert bushmanship helped train several generations of scientists. For 15 years, he was my eyes and ears of our bush. Now having this lecture today will be hearing the eyes and ears of other parts of science so that we can learn from that. Karlie Noon is our first speaker. I’m really excited to welcome her up here.
She is a Gamilaraay woman who is a first, hopefully not only, but we want to see it as regular, aboriginal woman to obtain a combined Bachelor’s of Mathematics and Bachelor of Science degree. Karlie is currently completing a Master’s in Astronomy and Astrophysics, I hope that’s going well, and is one of the first recipients of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander postgraduate scholarships. She’s researching the Milky Way and is a research and advocate for indigenous scientific knowledge. She’s been involved with the Indigenous Science, Technology, Mathematics Education, i.e. STEM project, where she was a research assistant for monitoring and evaluating the programme, and is responsible for establishing the STEM awards, the Indigenous STEM Awards, and a mentor for indigenous students attending an Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Science Technology, which is called Assets Camp, and I want to invite you to come and speak to us.
Karli Noon: Hya-ma-gar, hello. As a proud sovereign gah-mor-ee-nyal, or woman, of the Gamilaraay language group, I would like to pay my respects to the Ngunnawal and Gnumbri people, the people of this country where we are meeting today. I want to send a special thank you to Paul for the incredible welcome this morning that we saw. I haven’t seen anything quite like that. It was very wonderful to see. I would like to acknowledge this nation’s law and their song lines. They carried the songs and creation stories of this land from the beginning of time to now. I would like to acknowledge the ancestors of this land and the elders who have shown us the way of keeping culture alive with integrity and honesty. I would like to extend this acknowledgment and respect to any aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we have here today, to our friends, to our allies, and to say thank you for having me here today. Thank you to the organisers. Thank you to CSIRO.
This is my third Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture that I have attended. One of my first duties when I first came on board with CSIRO education was to come to Canberra. I was based at the Newcastle Energy Centre, and I was asked to come to Canberra to attend the Jack Cusack lecture, so this is a very special moment for me. I feel like I’ve kind of come full circle. It’s a very proud moment. Hello, my name is Karlie Alinta Noon.
I grew up in Tamworth, New South Wales. I think I have some really, that was a Charles Wooster Howe during my acknowledgement, sorry, got some pictures here of me. I’m currently doing a Master’s of Astronomy and Astrophysics, advanced, at Australian National University with CSIRO. Specifically CSIRO astronomy and space science department. In my Master’s, I look at our galaxy, the Milky Way, and I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a moment. I also have done research in indigenous astronomy, and a lot of advocacy, looking at how traditional knowledge of the sky was used in everyday life.
I was the first female, indigenous Australian to obtain degrees in maths and physics. I was the 2019 ACT young Australian of the Year finalist, along with three other incredible people and change makers. I was one of the first recipients, as you heard, of the CSIRO Post Graduate Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Scholarship, which aligned me with the cast unit, the CSIRO astronomy and space science department. I have a background in presenting science shows, as we can see in this bottom left picture, going around all the territory and northeast of our land, presenting science shows, explosions, chemical reactions, really fun things to the students out there. As you heard, I’ve also worked as a mentor to indigenous students and girls interested in STEM.
Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my journey of how I got into STEM, and what I’m currently working on. I’ll briefly touch on a bit of my background. As many other indigenous people working in STEM, my path was certainly not linear. I was the first in my immediate family to complete year ten. I dropped out of school in year eight. I did not do any STEM subjects in school, despite having a very big passion for maths. I entered physics through philosophy. I did eventually get to uni, and I started in philosophy. Then, I found an amazing book by an amazing person, Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, and that book just changed my life. After I read it, within two months, I told myself year 12 maths, year 12 physics, and enrolled into a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Maths programme at the University of Newcastle. I failed three times in my first year. Obviously I didn’t teach myself very well. Problems that took my peers five minutes took me 20, but I persevered, mostly because to me it didn’t matter if I failed.
The piece of paper was not why I was there. It was because I was genuinely interested and passionate about that topic. Despite failing in my first year, I was able to build up my knowledge, and by the end of my degree in my final year, I was averaging an HD average. When I graduated, I found out this information that I was one of the first people, the second person in Australia, to graduate with the degrees that I had graduated with, the first female, and you know, that was pretty exciting for me and pretty exciting for everyone else as well. After graduating, I was a little unsure of what to do. After spending some time working with CSIRO’s indigenous engagement, sorry, indigenous education project, both at Black Mountain and Newcastle, I decided to head back to uni to do a Master’s. As part of my Master’s, I’m trying to determine the food of our galaxy, so what our galaxy eats. In order to produce stars, which is what galaxies do, it’s their main function. They produce stars. They need fuel.
They need food to be able to produce those stars. This is of interest to astrophysicists because we don’t actually know how it’s able to produce the amount of stars that it is currently producing. We think our galaxy should be dead, essentially, a galaxy that’s not producing any more stars. However, our Milky Way is producing about one and a half of our suns, the equivalent of one and a half of our suns per year. We have no explanation for this. So, essentially, that is what my research project is looking at. How is our galaxy still thriving? So, how does this happen? How does our galaxy get food?
It’s called a gas excretion. It’s really complex diagram here kind of explains it. We essentially have a large amount of mass, and outside we have clouds of gas. These clouds of gas can come from a lot of different methods. They can come from external galaxies. Some people may know, some people don’t. We actually have two galaxies that are orbiting our galaxy at the moment. They’re called the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Our galaxy is essentially eating, gobbling up, these smaller, subtler galaxies, and so that’s one way we can get more food or more gas is by eating up smaller galaxies.
In order for our galaxy to be creating one point five suns per year, it needs to have gobbled up four billion suns during its lifetime. Essentially, I’m trying to figure out where those four billion suns have come from. It’s not trivial. I guess it wouldn’t really be a research project if it was. The clouds specifically that I look at are called high velocity clouds. They look very much like this. You can see in the coloured image, that’s the clouds that I look at. This one here is called the Smith Cloud. It’s one of the largest clouds that we know of.
My role is to determine how far away it is from us, from our galactic disc, and to do this, I essentially do a lot of maths. That thing you learn in year ten, trigonometry, that you thought would never be useful, and that we all thought would never be useful, I use it every day. I’m the example of that. I do a lot of calculations, a lot of modelling, and a lot of programming in order to find out how far away they are. I’ve just been told I’ve got two minutes, which is very upsetting.
So, I hope to finish my Master’s adding on the knowledge of how our Milky Way Galaxy came to be, its evolution, and why it’s functioning the way it is today. After that, I hope to pursue a PhD in Radio Astronomy. Radio telescopes work similar to radios. They pick up radio waves that are emitted by a gas called neutral hydrogen, which is what these clouds are made up of, and that’s the fuel that goes into making future stars. I do this by using some of the most impressive radio telescopes in the world. In fact, they’re both here in Australia: the Parkes radio telescope and ASKAP, or the precursor to the square kilometre array.
I was lucky enough to go and visit ASKAP and the Murchison radio telescope about a month ago now. These sites are both managed by CSIRO. This one in particular, the square kilometre array, or ASKAP, as its currently functioning, built on the land of the oh-rech-oh-ree, yah-ma-gee people. It’s the source of not only new science, but plethora of new technologies, and this essentially comes from not only trying to use the telescope and make it work, but also attempting to store the data that it obtains or receives. It’s about five point two terabytes of data per second, these telescopes receives, which is about 15 percent of the current internet use in Australia.
In addition to my radio astronomy pursuits, and I’m not going to have time to go through this in depth at all, but just to give you an idea, this is the Milky Way we see in radio world. This is how we see it in the optical using optical telescopes. This is an example of how my people, the Gamilaraay people, saw the Milky Way as the de-no-wah, or the emu. Another part of my research and life focus, really, is looking at indigenous astronomy knowledge, or astronomical knowledge.
Particularly, I look at weather predictors, and so something like these optical phenomena, these are sun halos in this picture, I’ll skip the physics, in particular I look at moon halos and how moon halos are used as a weather predictor in many aboriginal and Torres Strait nations across the country, how they were used traditionally, and how they’re still used today. I’ll just quickly wrap up with one example. This is a painting from the Torres Strait done by ah-nas ko-no-nah, and it represents three different ways that storms are predicted. One of these ways is frogs, so they look at how frogs are behaving.
Another way is cockroaches and how cockroaches behave. Another feature in this painting is moon halos, and so a lot of different nations, not just the Torres Strait, use the features of halos. How big it is, how many stars you can see between the moon and the halo, is it windy on the night that the halo appears in order to make more accurate weather predictions.
Essentially, what I do, is I look at this from a physics perspective and say, it doesn’t make sense to have a look at a halo and use it as a predictor for stormy weather. Don’t have time to go through the physics. The conclusion is yes, it does make sense, physically. There is evidence in what is occurring in the APO troposphere with the particular types of clouds that produce the halos. It does make sense they are able to predict storms coming.
I’ll just quickly wrap up. I hope that I have shared with you today and I have showed you there’s a lot we can learn, not just in our traditional, Western systems. Not only can we learn a lot in that field, but we can also learn a lot in indigenous knowledge and be able to incorporate that knowledge and bring knowledge systems together. I hope you learn a little bit of physics, it’s always my goal, and that indigenous Australians, as with all people, we’re capable of incredible things. Thank you very much for having me.
[Cathy Foley] Misty is a Gunditjmara, I hope I’ve said that right, thank you, woman of the, um, and she’s also a National Health and Medical Research Counsel fellow, and the laboratory head of the immunology division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and there she’s researching cellulite immunology and cancer immunotherapy, which is pretty big stuff, pretty important to us all. She has been very successful in her research, has been recognised by a swag of different awards, such as the 2017 winner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Career Advancement Award. She’s also won the award from Cambridge University with a college fellowship. She’s going to be talking to us about her journey and her research, and I think you’ll be blown away as well. Thank you.
[Misty Jenkins] I want to acknowledge the beautiful, traditional lands that we meet on today. Pay my respects to elders past, present, and emerging, and I want to acknowledge all of the aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders researchers and scientists that work tirelessly around the country. Who work tirelessly around the country to bring indigenous knowledge, as Karlie touched on, to mainstream science. I’m really honoured this year to have joined the incredible group of STEM winners and finalists who made up this year’s CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM Awards, so today, I think, is a day of great celebration and to be able to to coincide that with your rep. It’s a real honour to be here, so thanks for having me. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine a world without science. With no medicine when you’re sick, people dying from disease, no technology, no electricity, no communication, no travel. The world would be a pretty desolate sort of place. In a lot of ways, we’re just in the beginning. The more we learn, the more we realise that we don’t know. To the team at CSIRO, I applaud your perseverance to be here, and we live in a society that’s enriched every day by your efforts to bring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the public, so thank you. Like many of their generation, my parents left school at 13.
My mum is a Gunditjmara woman from Western District down in Victoria, and so despite this, they fed my crazy curiosity for the scientific world with encouragement, and empowered me to go out, to venture out, and seek answers from all walks of life. From a kid who just went to the local government school on the outskirts of Bellara, it was quite overwhelming. I remember that my mom always said to me: surround yourself with the best and the brightest. I did, and I really put myself out there, but being a scientists meant moving away from home, and that was scary, but it was also the best years of my life, that were an explosion of learning and possibility.
It was here, I think I understood the true value of learning and of education. It was here I developed a love of T cells, you see. We all have these white blood cells, zooming around our body, and in our lymph and tissues, because if you didn’t, you’d be the boy in the bubble, and you wouldn’t be able to leave the house for fear of infection. We all have these zooming around our body all the time, and just as Karlie’s been showing you beautiful images using telescopes and looking out into space, these are using microscopes, so zooming down to the microscopic.
As a child, I’d get a lot of throat infections, and my lymph nodes in my neck would get lumpy, and I’d say to mum what’s going on in there? It’s a question that still drives me today. What is going on in there? How are these cells talking to each other and communicating? That’s really what I’ve devoted the last 20 years of my life to understanding. In recent times now, you may have heard in the last month the Nobel prize is being announced for cancer therapy, antibodies called checkpoint inhibition. We can now take these lymphocytes, these killer T cells, and we can rearm them and reprogram them against cancer, and it’s become the latest pillar of cancer therapy, and that’s really what I do now.
Here is this T cell, shown in green, this killer T cell, delivering the kiss of death to a cancer cell. It delivers a kiss of death by throwing these toxic grenades, as shown here in red, almost like bullets, into the target cell, and essentially make it blow up.
Designing treatments to kill cancer can be really tricky, because cancer cells come from our own tissue. Just few genetic changes make the difference, and our immune system has evolved not to attack our own tissues, and most of the time it does a pretty good job of doing that. Of course, sometimes it breaks down and it does attack our own tissues. Friend of Rockfort calling out what that’s called? Did someone say autoimmunity? Autoimmunity, correct! Get a fret-a-frog.So, treating cancer’s really tricky, because it’s really hard to design treatments which kill cancer cells but leave your healthy cells unharmed. For centuries, dating back to Ancient Egyptians, and also indigenous Australia as well, there was surgery. For many thousands of years, surgery was used to removed tumours when possible. Of course, this was well before the development of anaesthesia. Surgery’s of course come a long way since then, but it was around in the 1900s. I’ll just skip that, going to run out of time. It was around the 1900s that Pierre and Marie Curie discovered that radium could cure diseased cells, and then radiation was born, which has become much more sophisticated.
Around the Second World War, when the mustard gas was used on the soldiers and depleted their bone marrow, some clinicians in America went, oh, I could use this on my kids with leukaemia, and chemotherapy was born. We really haven’t had much since. It’s no great surprise now that immunotherapy, or using your own immune system to fight your own cancer, has become the fourth pillar of cancer treatment, and has really taken the world by storm. In fact, it was our own Macfarlane Burnet who evolved this theory that the immune system evolves to keep us free from pathogens and infectious disease, and evolved his theory that the immune system actually evolves to keep us free from cancer.
Therefore, cancer is a failed immune surveillance. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that one of you in this audience today has had cancer at one point in your life, but you’ve never known about it because your immune system takes it out. When they’re doing their job, they’re doing it really well. Of course, it doesn’t always do its job, and that’s why cancer’s one of the big major killers on planet Earth.
Despite Burnet’s theory, it took really another 40 to 50 years for that view to get informal acceptance. That was back in the 1990s when transgenic mice were developed which lacked key killing molecules in the immune system, and were show to spontaneously develop lymphoma. So, we know that our immune system does keep us free from cancer, and we know that in patients that have T cells and white blood cells infiltrating their tumours and responding to their cancer, that it’s a really good sign of prognosis. If you take anything away today, it’s this: cancer’s not one disease. It’s thousands, and thousands of different diseases.
Some cancers are quite immunogenic, can be visible to the immune system, and some are not. Some don’t have a good immune response against them. As I touched on already, you would have heard about three or four weeks ago the Nobel prize is getting announced for checkpoint inhibition, and the really lovely story is here that these were scientists, Allison in the States, and Honjo in Japan, who were researching how T cells, how these white blood cells do their job, how they deliver the kiss of death, how they recognise and respond to targets. They didn’t set out to cure cancer. They didn’t set out to develop a drug or make pharmaceutical companies lots of money or anything like that. They just wanted to understand the nuts and bolts of how things work. I think that’s a nice message for the entire research community.
We need to be investing in the basic building blocks and fundamental scientific research to then be able to apply them, ultimately, to a clinical setting. It’s a really exciting time to be a cancer immunologist. So, that’s all good and well if you have an immune response to treat your tumour.
Just in two slides, I’m going to summarise years of work and tell you what I’m doing now in my life in Melbourne. So those drugs that won the Nobel prize, fantastic if you already have an immune response to target but sometimes you don’t. What happens if you don’t have an immune response to your cancer? Well, now we can give you one. We can basically take blood cells out of a patient, genetically engineer them to recognise their own cancer, so personalise therapy to the next level, and return them to the patient.
This therapy I’m talking about is called chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR-T cell therapy. It’s forming a chimaera of this receptor which is like the recognition or the key that’s going to fit the lock. This is a schematic of how this process works in the clinic. You can go from identifying when the patient presents. You can identify the treatment type. Blood is taken from the patient.
The T cells, the white blood cells are taken out and isolated, and engineered, genetically engineered to express the receptor of interest to compare based on whatever flavour your tumour is, and then infuse those, mount the army, proliferate the cells, get them to divide, then return them to the patient.Your own immune system can get engineered to kill your cancer. It’s pretty cool. The question is, and this has shown really successful therapy and saved many thousands of lives now across the world, particularly in cohorts of patients in some of the first studies in the paediatric patients were done in leukaemia, little kids with blood cancers who 90 percent of these kids now would have survived with chemotherapy quite successfully, but about ten or 15 percent of these patients don’t respond to anything and are completely resistant, and in that cohort, 87 percent are still alive.
Quite extraordinary, really extraordinary, so much so that we haven’t see anything like it. It was FDA approved and fast-tracked from the bench, from the bench to the bedside, and FDA approved in five years. The question now for me in my lab is I really want to know how we can apply the success of this therapy to some of these trickier, rarer, and highly fatal cancers like brain cancer. In my lab, we work on adult and kiddie brain cancer, paediatric brain cancer, and most people wouldn’t know this fact, but actually brain cancer kills more children than any other disease, than anything. That includes congenital heart defects, and other illnesses and diseases.
It’s quite extraordinary, and you may have heard of in the adult patients, glioblastoma, GBM, a highly aggressive, and if you put all the brain cancers together, and some are worse than others, the survival rate’s only about 20 percent. In some of these paediatric cancers I’m looking at, they grow in the brain stem. They can’t be removed. They don’t respond to chemotherapy. You can’t chop them out because your brain stem controls your breathing. There’s nothing you can do, and these kids are dead within a year. It’s pretty horrific. A girlfriend of mine who’s a neurosurgeon said Misty, and I was sitting at my lab in WEHI, and she said Misty, I’m sick of telling my brain cancer patients they’re going to die. What are you going to do about that? I looked into the fact that no one was doing anything, and I was quite horrified about it, so I’ve devoted my lab to this topic now. I’ve devoted my career to it.
I think indigenous people have been scientists for thousands of years. If you all open your wallet, for those of you lucky enough to have a par nickel in there, fifty dollar note, you’ll see David Unaipon on there. He was a very famous, he was actually a boot maker, but he actually launched 19 provisional patents, everything from shoes, to motors, wheels, and even pre World War I drawings for a helicopter based on the boomerang. We’re here to celebrate Jack Cusack, but I also wanted to point out there have been indigenous scientists for many, many years. Much like the song lines running through our culture, we have a long history of indigenous science, and I’m just very proud to be a part of it and to bring an indigenous lens into the Western context. I wanted to finish on saying that I think that education gives us opportunities that money can’t buy.
If I could go back and tell my 16 year old self that I would win awards, my scientific discoveries, I’d end up designing E cancer treatments, and that I’d be an immunologist, I think she’s pretty crazy, and well, let’s face it, back then I thought an immunologist was someone who worked on emus. I worked my butt off, and it gave me an amazing opportunity. I did my PhD with, at the time, the only living Nobel prize winner in the Southern Hemisphere, Peter Doherty. I went to Oxford and Cambridge, and there was this girl from the bush mixing with philosophers, and historians, and Nobel laureates, and even royalty when Prince Philip would come for dinner, and it was intimidating as hell, but I look back on how I survived and how I stayed true to my passions which are my science and my connection to community and country, and that became my power.
The power was in my difference. I truly believe that a bright and innovative future for Australia lies within a community of diverse individuals working cross culturally, inter-generationally, and bridging socioeconomic divides. The best way to advance our society is to have as many people as possible able to view the world through an indigenous lens. For example, whilst was in Oxford and Cambridge, it was great to be able to establish the Charlie Perkins scholarship so that indigenous post graduate students could apply there and study for post graduate education before bringing in those knowledge back home.
Now, there’s been over 40 indigenous graduates from there, and it’s been one of the things in my career I’m very proud of. Indigenous communities have been very franchised and taken advantage of by modern science for so long, and as a result, our people are missing out on a lot of the benefits that modern medicine can bring. It’s encumbered on us as members of both communities to bridge the divide and rebuild the faith that’s been lost.
We have so many scientific knowledge systems. I mean, our old people had genetics worked out far before Frances and Crick, and before DNA was discovered, and Rosalyn Franklin, by giving families skin knives. I think it’s also amazing that this is the first time in human history that we have more advanced technology in our pocket, this more advanced technology in an iPhone than there is in a nuclear reactor, and this is a device we use for communication, and I think, and not for war, and I think there’s a big lesson there. But I never take advantage of the fact that I have Wikipedia in my pocket.
So, I’m just going to finish up now and end with a couple of life hacks that I’ve learned along the way. I’ve learned to think critically. Everyone has their own story. Be aware of biases, prejudices, and privileges. I’ve learned that the arts and sciences are at odds with each other. You need creativity and compassion to be a scientist, and you need to apply rigour to study the arts, and that they nurture each other.
Our society is more polarised than ever, and I’ve learned to define myself by what I love, and not by what I oppose. I also learned success isn’t just about getting straight A’s, as Karlie’s already pointed out, but it’s about developing that lifelong love of learning. I’ve learned that the world around us is changing, and we’re seeing the decline of the expert and the rise of the citizen journalist. Anyone with an opinion and a computer can now go online and publish their opinion as facts often resulting in fake news, and opposite views are giving equal weighting despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. Just go to Google and type in cancer cure and you’ll find a plethora of quacks and snake oil salesmen ready to tell you false hope.
Use your education to inform and spread the rigorous academic method everywhere. I’ve learned the more plugged in we are to social media and portable devices as we sit on trains, we’re also losing the art of conversation and the time to think. Despite that, we embrace this world of technology.
We’re 3D printing human organs now. We’re trying to vaccinate against cancer, using social media to crowd fund social causes, but always with the goal of contribution. I’ve also learned I’ll quite often fail, but that brings resilience and has made me a better person, and it’s okay tot ake advice from a fish with a short term memory, and whenever life gets tough, just channel your inner Dory, and keep on swimming. Finally, I’ve learned that the universe doesn’t have a purpose for us. True opportunity doesn’t knock. You really have to create your own, and I’m proud of the life I’ve created in the field of STEM, and hope to continue to do, have the platform to do the good work, which will hopefully one day save lives.
As scientists, we have a duty to keep informing the public about exciting developments in our field, including new techniques to fight disease, but the pure wonders of the unadulterated joy of science. I want to thank. Having indigenous scientists is essential, and I think this will really only enhance and drive innovation and better outcomes for our community. Finally, thank you to CSIRO for this recognition, and I look forward to celebrating this wonderful day with you all. Thank you.
[Cathy Foley] So, that brings us to the end of this really amazing event. I want you to join me in thanking our speakers one more time, because that was just fantastic. Diversity and inclusion is all about embracing and capturing the full kin of potential, and if you think about what we heard today about two amazing women who have shown what richness, what knowledge, what depth of understanding of our universe from the heavens to inside ourselves, what we’d be missing out on so far by not reaching out further, and I’m so proud that as an organisation, we’re actually striving to make up for the things where we’ve had a chasm of lack of success in engaging in that way, and I hope we’ll be having truck loads of our indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders, or aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, coming and joining us, because I know we’re missing out on a lot by not having them here. So, let’s thank them one more time.