Women in STEM support hits record high

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Media contacts

Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310
Steve Kuper (Minister Price’s office): +61 421 668 874
Defence Media: media@defence.gov.au

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18 August 2021

The Morrison Government has today awarded a record 25 scholarships to women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at 13 universities across Australia.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Defence continued to lead the nation in promoting STEM workforce diversity, with the Defence Women in STEM Undergraduate scholarships playing a significant role in building the talent pipeline.

Seventeen previous scholarship recipients have completed their degree programs, with seven continuing on to Defence STEM Cadetship programs and a further four women now employed by Defence.

“Clearly these scholarships are helping facilitate greater engagement from women across Australia with Defence,” Minister Price said.

“We are enabling the best talent to successfully complete their degrees and ensuring the workforce of the future is secured.”

This year’s scholarship program also honours the late Leisa Condie, who made outstanding contributions to cryptology and the high performance computing program in Defence and the Australian Signals Directorate.

The Leisa Condie Defence Women in STEM Undergraduate Scholarship was awarded to Edith Cowan University student Hannah Rice, whose studies align with Leisa’s work area. 

The scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrated academic excellence and who displayed positive attributes such as community leadership and extra-curricular engagement.

The recipients were:

Recipient of Leisa Condie Scholarship:

Hannah Rice

Edith Cowan University

Bachelor of Science (Cyber Security)

All other Scholarship recipients:

Natasha Moy

University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Mechanical)/Bachelor of Science

Holly Wilson

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

Bachelor of Space Science

Rosanna Xu

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic)/Bachelor of Advanced Science

Paige Sedgwick


Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Arts

Ruby Mattingley

Monash University

Bachelor of Applied Data Science Advanced (Hons)

Melanie Ward

Flinders University

Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)/Bachelor of Archaeology

Georgia Odlin

University of Sydney

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Science

Bushra Khan

Charles Sturt University

Bachelor of Information Technology

Caroline Andersson

Flinders University

Bachelor of Science (Hons)

Catherine Cheng


Bachelor of Advanced Science (Hons)/Engineering (Hons)

Caitlin Buchan

La Trobe University

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Science

Alexandra Stephenson

University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Advanced)/Diploma in Arts

Jessie Lum


Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Science

Kylie Chapman

University of Southern Queensland (USQ)

Bachelor of Science

Jessica Stafford

University of South Australia

Bachelor of Mathematics (Industrial and Applied Mathematics)

Dana Edwards

University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Science

Olivia Griscti

University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Mechanical)/Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Science

Kate Morrison

University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Science

Halle Taylor-Pritchard

Griffith University

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Information Technology

Selina Phillis

Charles Sturt University

Bachelor of Geospatial Science

Jacqueline Gregg

Monash University

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)

Gazel Harabati


Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)/Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)

Philippa McMurtrie

University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Mechanical)/Bachelor of Science

Michelle Therese Wilson

University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Mechanical)/Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)


The scholarships are a key initiative under the ‘More, Together – Defence Science and Technology Strategy 2030’. The program is aimed at encouraging high-performing women to continue their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and boost representation and job opportunities in the workforce.

For more information on the scholarships, visit https://www.dst.defence.gov.au/partner-with-us/university/scholarships.

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