Page 4495 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 30 October 2018

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Robogals was founded in 2008 and is solely run by students. The organisation’s main goal is to inspire women to study engineering and technology through engaging in workshops. These workshops are mainly targeted at girls who lack confidence in STEM subjects—girls who do not think they will like these subjects or would be good at these subjects due to their gender. Thanks to Robogals, many young women now feel more comfortable and confident in speaking out, taking the lead and exploring STEM.

Morgan has been president of Robogals Canberra for two years, and her initiative, enthusiasm and passion have made it one of ANU’s fastest growing clubs. Her meaningful contributions have allowed her to engage new volunteers, schools, teachers, industry stakeholders and community partners, and develop a volunteer empowerment program. Morgan’s hard work with Robogals, ANU and in the Canberra community has also been acknowledged more broadly, with her being awarded runner-up Young Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2018.

Introducing STEM students like Morgan to girls at a young age ensures that young women pursuing these subjects have important female role models. We know an existing lack of female role models in these professional and academic fields has been linked to a low uptake of students from minorities, including women. You cannot be what you cannot see.

In Australia alone, women make up 28 per cent of the STEM workforce, and only 14 per cent of the engineering workforce. By closing the gender disparity gap, women will be able to generate a fairer income. Gender and racial diversity in the workforce foster increased problem solving, producing better business management. It is a win-win situation, as I am sure you will agree, Madam Assistant Speaker.

Morgan Marshall is just one woman paving the way for other young women in STEM across Australia. I ask the Assembly to join me in congratulating her on her impressive efforts, as well as the efforts of everyone involved with Canberra Robogals. This is an exceptional team of young women who have displayed excellence in their field, proving that women can succeed in any industry.

ACT Emergency Services Agency—open day

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (4.07), in reply: I rise to pay tribute to our Emergency Services Agency, in particular for our most recent ESA open day, held out at Fairbairn on Sunday, and pay tribute to the hardworking staff and volunteers of the ESA for the work they continue to do, but particularly in the lead-up to the open day.

Last year’s open day was a big success, with over 5,000 attendees, and, thanks to the hard work, this year’s open day was even bigger and better. I understand we had 6,000 attendees at the open day. The crowd poured in, from an early start at 10 o’clock, to engage with our wonderful world of emergency services. Each of the

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