What is your dream?
I’m a scientist doing research on hepatitis C virus. This disease disproportionately affects people who
are marginalised and discriminated, such as people in lower and middle income countries and
people who inject drugs, and it has an enormous global health burden; it is the leading cause of liver
disease and liver transplantation globally! There is a cure available for this disease, however due to
stigma, marginalisation and discrimination, the people who are most affected are not being treated,
so my dream is to be able to do research which helps give access to treatment to everyone who is
infected with hepatitis C virus, and help eradicate this disease.
How did you find your passion?
I’ve always been passionate about wanting to help people, but I found science by accident! As a
teenager, I thought I was really bad at science, so I avoided it, studying languages, arts, history and
english in high school! Then I started doing an arts degree at uni, but I got bored really quickly. My
mum convinced me to try something different before dropping out, so I did chemistry, maths &
biology, and right away I was hooked! I finished my science degree 3 years later with a first class
honours in biochemistry & molecular biology and my supervisor suggested I should try working in
medical research, which I did. And I have never looked back!
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
I hope to finish my PhD studies at UNSW and have 2 more peer reviewed journal articles published,
as well presenting my research at an international conference. I will also be participating in various
science communication competitions this year, such as Three Minute Thesis and the British Council’s
FameLab, so I hope to make it to the Australian finals of these events.
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
As I am a full time PhD student, this scholarship will support me financially while I'm undertaking the
last year of my studies. I also hope to travel overseas to attend a course and present my research at
a conference, and the scholarship will support me to be able to do that as well.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
I’ve had lots of ups and downs during my PhD studies, so I’m incredibly proud of myself for sticking it
out and not giving up, even when I really wanted to! Having my first peer reviewed journal article
accepted for publication in December was a really great moment for me. It was 2 years in the
making and I doubted it would ever happen, so I was over the moon when I finally got the email
saying it was accepted!
How important is inspiration in your life?
It’s essential. Without the inspiration from other people trying to achieve huge things, now and in
the past, I don't think I would believe it was even possible for one person to make a difference!
Who’s your hero (and why)?
My mum! I believe hero's are people who perform essential but thankless jobs, without seeking
praise or recognition, and always doing it to the best of their ability. And that's the description of a
mum right there!
How will you support your community in the future?
In the future I hope to be able to encourage and mentor young girls and women to pursue
education, training and careers in science and technology. These fields are essential to the future of
humanity and women can make such a huge contribution that at the moment, is really
What’s the motto that you live by?
“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.'’ ~Albert
I’ve always loved Paul Kelly, as a musician and as a poet.
Pizza- it's a guilty pleasure!
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Favourite TV Show?
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Just trying or giving something a shot automatically makes you a success. Not trying at all is the only
form of failure. Don't beat yourself up if things don't work out, we tend to be our own worst critics!