They were recognised for innovative and impactful projects ranging from child protection programs, to fighting malaria in western Cambodia, to the co-design of SA’s new MOD. museum, and testing to determine if drugs are working in Motor Neurone Disease treatment trials.
Women in Innovation SA president Nicole Swaine said the winners included not only dedicated researchers, but women from a variety of fields, industries and backgrounds who encountered community problems and committed themselves to finding a solution.
“We’ve been amazed and inspired by the entries received, which remind us once again of the women doing great work in STEM, business, government and the arts in South Australia,” Nicole said.
“Many of these projects are already making a real, positive impact on society.
“It’s so important to recognise these women for the projects they’ve steered, not only to thank and acknowledge them, but to highlight them as role models for other women and young girls.”
The winners were recognised at an awards ceremony at the National Wine Centre on Thursday October 18, amongst a total 27 finalists across 10 categories. The annual Winnovation Awards were established in 2014 to recognise and encourage innovative women in South Australia. They are managed by Women in Innovation, a board of volunteer professionals.
Arts: Anika Johnstone, who co-designed MOD. (a STEM-focused museum) with young adults aged 15-25 to create a space for them to be inspired about science, technology, engineering and maths.
Emerging Innovator: Allison Nikula, founder of digital health app CareApp, that removes silos of communication by giving care recipients, care teams, loved ones and care providers the power to create an amazing community.
Engineering: Professor Yan Zhuge, working in recycling used tyres into high-value building materials for structural engineering applications.
Innovation and Intrapreneurship in Government: Dr Bernadette Eckermann, Innovation Specialist with SA Water, doing things differently across the organisation to enable it to solve problems that matter to customers and community.
Maths and Data: Dr Tina Du, leading a three-year interdisciplinary project “Collaborative Information Seeking and its Application in Tourism”.
Rural regional and remote: Michele Lally of Australian Micro Abattoirs, an innovation that delivers a fully licensed, small-scale abattoir on farms, reducing the gap between producer and consumer.
Science: Dr Chia-Chi Chien, Research Fellow at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, whose innovation is a microfluidic 3D tumour-on-a-chip: a platform for recapturing the complexity of tumour microenvironments.
Social impact: Professors Fiona Arney and Leah Bromfield, Co-Directors of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at UniSA. Their innovation is Target Group to Outcomes, a new approach to ensuring and maximising the impact of programs and services aimed at preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect.
Technology: Dr Mary-Louise Rogers leads the only dedicated MND Research Laboratory in SA, and has developed a novel urine test to determine if drugs are working in clinical trials of motor neurone disease treatments.
Open: Dr Renly Lim created Village Drama Against Malaria – a unique science-art program to fight the world’s deadliest animal. Since 2013, Renly has been part of a research team studying villages in western Cambodia.