Students recognised with ADF Future Innovators Award

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The Hon Darren Chester MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

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21 November 2020

MORE than 2700 young Australians in years 10 and 12 have shown they are on track to tackle the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) challenges of the future, being presented inaugural Australian Defence Force (ADF) Future Innovator Awards.

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the awards were an investment in young Australians who demonstrated motivation, innovation and achievement in a STEM related field.

“The ADF’s requirement for innovators, critical thinkers and problem solvers continues to grow and this is one of the ways we are promoting the exciting opportunities available through a career with Defence,” Mr Chester said.

“The award recipients represent the next generation of STEM capable students and will have their awards presented to them by current ADF members.

“Congratulations to all he students involved and I wish you all the best for your future careers.”

More than 1660 schools from across Australia took part in the inaugural awards, which represents an approximate $1.4 million investment in Australia’s future STEM capability.

Mahalakshme Thiagarajan, a year 10 student at Strathcona Girls Grammar in Victoria said technology had the ability to make life better and our day-to-day life easier.

“After year 12 I would like to study something that can further develop my analytical thinking and problem solving skills,” said Mahalakshme.

Anthony Dellis from John Therry Catholic College in Sydney said STEM subjects have helped him develop core principles for all of his subjects.

“This knowledge allows me to go above and beyond when creating new projects such as my Science Extension Project.” said Anthony.

The ADF Future Innovators Award is a cash prize for high school students. Year 10 recipients receive $250 and Year 12 recipients receive $550. More information about the awards is available at:

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