The RACI Margaret Sheil Medal was established in 2017 honouring the trail-blazing contributions of Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Australia’s first female chemistry professor, and the current Vice Chancellor of QUT. The spirit of this award is to recognise and honour female leaders in a chemistry-related field who have championed workplace equitability for women in STEM and/or outstanding mentorship for juniors.
I had the privilege of being able to attend this lecture and hear about Prof Mary Garson’s life and career journey, and her exciting discoveries and work in marine science.
As a young female chemist just finishing her Bachelor’s, listening to Prof Garson’s career journey was inspiring and exhilarating. Her tales of what led to the career she has today, seemingly poor decisions that lead to stellar scientific collaborations and contributions and a global network of friends and colleagues inspired me to continue in my field and to see the silver lining in everything.
She also divulged the secret to getting a species named after you as she has a flatworm species named in her honour, and the importance of bravery and resilience to achieve success.
I intend to follow her advise and remember her words to keep me inspired and galvanised to follow my dreams.