6 March 2020
Sunshine Coast Airport is proud to announce Liana Walsh as the first recipient of the new Sunshine Coast Airport – Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Scholarship through a partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) worth $6,000 per year for four years (a total of $24,000).
Ms Walsh has recently commenced a double degree in Environmental Science and Civil Engineering and hopes to combine the two degrees to create projects which will protect the environment from climate change.
“I’ve always been passionate about the environment,” Ms Walsh said.
“When I told my mum about getting the scholarship she cried – it’s going to be such a big help with paying for textbooks and fuel for travel, and I won’t need to work as much while trying to juggle full-time study.”
The announcement comes in the lead up to International Women’s Day, Sunday, March 8.
While women play key roles in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths, the gender imbalance in STEM education and careers still exists.
Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer Andrew Brodie said the partnership with USC was designed to address this issue.
“The scholarship will support female students enrolled in Science Technology, Engineering and Maths programs at USC, encouraging them to excel in their tertiary studies and make significant contributions across these fields in their future careers,” Mr Brodie said.
“Gender diversity is especially important in the traditionally male-dominated aviation industry: at Sunshine Coast Airport women make up more than half of our total staff.
“We congratulate Liana and, as Australia’s first and only carbon neutral airport, we applaud her commitment and passion for sustainability and her vision for the future.”
USC’s Head of School of Science and Engineering Professor Cathy Yule also congratulated Liana on receiving the generous scholarship from Sunshine Coast Airport.
“Liana’s success in gaining the Women in STEM scholarship will inspire other women to do engineering, which is a fabulous career,” Professor Yule said.
“There’s a fantastic opportunity for women in STEM at the moment: doors are opening for women, especially in engineering, not just due to quotas but also a realisation that women bring a different approach to solving problems.
“STEM is fundamental to the future of the world, and it’s important that women are properly represented in efforts to make the world a better place.”