Deborah Smith is the media and communications officer for the UNSW Faculty of Science. Prior to joining UNSW in 2013 she had a distinguished career in journalism with Fairfax Media. She was Science Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald from 2002 to 2012, and held other positions including European correspondent, senior feature writer, and page editor.
Deborah was a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Science Journalism in 2002 and 2004, before winning the award in 2005 for her overall science coverage, including stories on Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny extinct humans whose remains were unearthed in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. Her work featured in the inaugural 2011 edition of NewSouth Publishing’s annual anthology, The Best Australian Science Writing. Deborah has an honours degree in physical chemistry and worked as a forensic toxicologist before becoming a journalist.
Michael Slezak is an award-winning science and environment reporter. Since the start of 2016, he has been the Environment Correspondent at Guardian Australia, where he covers everything from Australian energy policy, through to the latest breakthroughs in environmental science. Prior to that, Michael was the Asia Pacific Reporter for New Scientist magazine, where he reported to an international audience any big or interesting science that was happening in Australia. He’s currently editing Best Australian Science Writing 2017 for NewSouth Publishing, and has been recognised with various awards for his journalism, including article of the year at the Publish Australia awards. Michael also has a background in health and medical reporting, and prior to becoming a journalist he researched, studied and taught philosophy of science.
A dynamic and passionate advocate for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), Heather co-founded STEM-specialist media company Refraction Media in 2013 with a view to creating a smarter future - one in which everyone has access to the skills they need to make a better planet. Heather worked for over a decade as a science news journalist and producer at the ABC and CSIRO before becoming deputy editor and then managing editor of science magazine, Cosmos, where she was runner up best Editor (circ, >25,000) in 2012 and key to the creation of Cosmos’ award-winning app, listed by Apple as ‘best of’ for 2012. Heather is a regular speaker and guest on ABC radio, and as Refraction Media’s head of content, works with an awesome team of writers, designers and developers and with partners across the globe to develop digital products, VR stories and amazing magazines to tell stories of people who love what they do, and want to share their inspiring stories with the next generation.
John Pickrell is an award-winning journalist, former editor of Australian Geographic magazine and author of Flying Dinosaurs and Weird Dinosaurs. He has worked in London, Washington DC and Sydney for publications including New Scientist, Science, Science News and Cosmos Magazine. John’s articles can also be found online and in print at BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, Scientific American, Focus and the ABC. When John isn’t writing or editing these days he can be found on fossil digs in the Australian outback or Gobi Desert. He has been a finalist in the Australian Museum’s Eureka prizes three times, won an Earth Journalism Award and featured in The Best Australian Science Writing in 2011, 2014 and 2015. John is a prolific public speaker and provides engaging content for TV and radio. He studied biology at Imperial College in the UK and has a Master of Science in taxonomy and biodiversity from London’s Natural History Museum.
Stephanie introduced Computing subjects to High School to Moriah in 1990. Her students have performed consistently in the top bands in the state at HSC level, with 44 of her students appearing in the top 10 students in the state in those subjects. A number of her students have also performed with distinction in National and International Programming Competitions. Stephanie has been a Marker and Supervisor of Marking for HSC Subjects. She has been involved in the writing of curriculum material for NESA (previously known as the Board of Studies), including HSC syllabuses and support documents. Stephanie is also a regular presenter of HSC Solutions sessions to teachers of her subject area in Sydney, and has written a number of computing texts and Black Line Masters for use in Computing subjects. In 2016, Stephanie was awarded an OAM for “Services to Information Technology Education” recognizing her long and devoted contribution to education.