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Saturday, July 24, 2021

STEM superstar

UNSW Canberra’s Bianca Capra has been named a Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

An aerospace engineer and senior lecturer at UNSW Canberra, Dr Capra will join a program aimed at “smashing society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increasing the public visibility of women in STEM”.

Dr Capra said aerospace engineering is as exciting as it sounds and is limitless in how it continues to shape our collective future.

“I get to work in all these areas and am passionate about promoting my industry. Unfortunately, we are living in age where a lot of young women and girls do not consider a career in STEM, let alone aerospace engineering. More worryingly, they are opting out of such careers early in their education, limiting the diversity, insight and lived experience required for scientific advances,” she said.

“If as a society, we want to address the cultural and societal biases that continue to limit the engagement of women with STEM, it is imperative we address the lack of gender parity in our high-profile STEM role models.”

Superstars of STEM equips 150 female scientists and technologists with advanced communications skills, providing them with opportunities to use these skills in the media, on the stage and in speaking with decision makers. The program was launched in 2017.

Dr Capra is one of 60 women who will participate in the 2019/2020 program.

Police target impaired driving

ACT Policing are targeting alcohol and drug impaired driving throughout December and January.

Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Acting Station Sergeant David Wills, said police are disappointed to still see so many people arrested for impaired driving.

“The summer months bring a rise in parties, end of year celebrations and public holidays, but sadly we also see a rise in antisocial, illegal and potentially dangerous behaviour.

“Broadly, there are still far too many people being charged with drink and drug driving offences, which tells us people still aren’t getting the message when it comes to driving a vehicle while under the influence.”

A total of 1,029 people were charged for drink driving in the ACT in 2017, while 427 were charged with drug driving. Police data shows the ACT has already exceeded these numbers this year.

“If you drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, you significantly increase the risk of causing a collision, potentially seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else,” Acting Station Sergeant Wells said.

“Police members don’t want to be knocking on doors this Christmas having to tell people their loved one has died because they or someone else were driving under the influence.

“I would like to remind people to drink responsibly, and if you do drink, don’t drive. Plan your night out, and know how you are getting home safely.”

The campaign forms part of the ACT Road Safety Strategy, prioritising a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road safety.

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