Why are you in this industry/occupation?

I’ve always been fascinated by science, and chemistry was my favourite subject at high school, so for me it was a natural progression to go on to study chemistry at university. My grandfather had worked at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and it was always somewhere that I really wanted to work because I knew ANSTO was such a special place to do science in Australia.

What are the benefits?

It’s really rewarding when you get to synthesis a molecule that no-one has ever made before, or solve a scientific puzzle. I also enjoy making molecules to help researchers from such a wide range of fields, I get to interact with physicists, biologists, materials scientists and many other people with specialised interests, so I get to learn about the types of work that they are doing.

What are the drawbacks?

Science in Australia often doesn’t receive the recognition or prioritisation that it deserves, this can make it difficult for scientific research to obtain the funding to continue to do great things. This has a flow on effect to scientific researchers, who can find it difficult to secure long-term, ongoing employment.

Chemistry can also present numerous hazards, and can be dangerous if you aren’t properly prepared or understand what you’re doing, so safety needs to always be at the forefront of your mind.

Why do you encourage other women and girls to consider this industry/occupation?

Chemistry is fun! My job is literally to ‘experiment’ all day, and it’s even better that I get paid to do it.

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