Sydney Harbour Research Program (SHRP) Future Female Leaders and Marine
Science Communication Workshops


In April 2019, Dr
Ana Bugnot (SHRP/USyd) and Dr Katie Dafforn (SHRP/MQU) hosted two workshops at
the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS).
These were an inaugural WSTEM
and ECR skills initiative supported by the
Sydney Harbour Research Program and
targeted towards marine scientists and engineers. The workshops focused
specifically on Women in Leadership and Science Communication. Future female
leaders and science communicators joined from SIMS, University of Sydney, Macquarie
University, UNSW, UTS, Uni of Newcastle, Deakin University, the Ian Potter
Foundation, NSW OEH, Australian Maritime Museum and the Australian Museum.


The journey to
leadership is fraught with challenges and women can face gender specific
prejudices to overcome. On Day 1, the “Future Women in Leadership”
workshop began with a coaching session facilitated by Zoe Coyle of Pilot Light
( Topics ranged from how to lead with body language and energy levels,
to active listening and how to navigate difficult conversations. The session was interactive and full of
positive energy with a palpable buzz in the room! In the afternoon session, Dr
Ana Bugnot facilitated a panel of current female leaders who shared practical
tools and advice to navigate a pathway to leadership. Overall it was a
fantastic way to end the day with drinks, nibbles and networking on the
beautiful verandah at SIMS.


On Day 2 we
welcomed leading science communicators “Science in Public” and
shifted gears to tackle some of the concerns and challenges that scientists
experience when communicating with the media. The first panel session called “Meet
the Press” allowed participants to engage with members of print media
(SMH), radio (2GB) and TV (Ten News). Thanks go to the fabulous panel members
who communicated the challenges they face in bringing a great story to light
and shared tips for on and off camera! The rest of the day was lights, camera,
action! with participants preparing a 1 minute pitch and then filming each
other in the beautiful surrounds of SIMS. We were grateful to have SIMS Digital
Media Officer, Leah Wood on hand for some technical tips (landscape, not
portrait!) and guidance on digital storytelling.


There was a
contest for best pitch and the prize was awarded to Dr Vivian Cumbo of Macquarie
University! Congratulations Viv! She will now get a full day of media training
courtesy of “Science in Public” and we look forward to hearing her
stories in print, on the radio or TV!