Winners Announced In Queensland Women In Stem Awards 2021


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Now in its sixth year, the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize celebrates Queensland women who make an outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The statewide competition is presented by Queensland Museum Network and Queensland Government through the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist and Office for Women.

Prizes are awarded across three categories:

  • Judges’ Award, valued at $5,000, awarded to the most meritorious applicant.
  • Inclusion Award, valued at $5,000, awarded to the most meritorious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicant, applicant with a disability, or applicant who is a carer.
  • Up to $6,000 in Highly Commended Award(s) considered to be a meritorious applicant, as determined by the judges.

Congratulations to the five outstanding women named as recipients of the 2021 Queensland Women in STEM Prize.


Winner – Chloe Yap
MD-PhD student and Fulbright Scholar, The University of Queensland
From molecules to the mind: using big data towards earlier autism diagnosis

Chloe is using big data approaches to try to improve early autism diagnosis. The current lack of any biological “tests” for autism means that too much time is taken to reach a diagnosis. Chloe’s research aims to ensure that children receive the adequate and early support needed to achieve better educational and employment outcomes later in life.

Hear Chloe talk about her research in her video.


Winner – Christabel Webber
Technical Officer, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Securing food for future generations

Born profoundly deaf, Christabel is a qualified researcher working in regional farming to help ensure food security by seeking to improve soil health and produce higher grain yield.

Hear Christabel talk about her research in her video.


 Fiona Holmstrom – Highly Commended Award

Co-founder and Director, STEM Punks
STEM Punks – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

Fiona Holmstrom’s mission is to make STEM Education more accessible to girls to prepare them for a future where they can make a difference to humanity and solve problems. STEM Punks is able to achieve this through a variety of mediums including an online learning platform, school holiday classes, term classes, incursions, Teacher Professional Development, a STEM store, a Magazine, and a YouTube channel.

Hear Fiona talk about her work in her video.

Kate Kingston – Highly Commended Award
PhD candidate and laboratory demonstrator, Griffith University
Impacts of Biochar on soil carbon pools and nitrogen transformations in Viticulture of Southeast QLD

Kate is investigating techniques for wine growers to improve their soil health by adding organic matter known as biochar. This helps to combat the impact due to the sensitivity of the grape vines to changes in their environment. Consequently, Kat’s research could be adapted to other climate change affected horticultural industries.

Hear Kate talk about her research in her video.

Sally McPhee – Highly Commended Award
STEM Outreach Manager and Founder of STEM Squad, Griffith University
Taking Cutting-Edge STEM out of the Labs and onto the streets!

Sally is passionate about taking cutting-edge STEM out of the labs and onto the streets by providing STEM pathways and leadership and engagement opportunities to school students as well as improving teacher confidence and capability in science.

Hear Sally talk about her work in her video.

To find out more about the program, visit

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