Join us for lunchtime networking from the comfort of your own Zoom room!

Next event: 12-1pm 30 September

Looking for networking? So are we. Join us for this month’s STEM Lightning Lunch for short inspiring talks followed by networking opportunities for industry, education, STEM outreach, STEM marketing and research.

Brought to you by Refraction Media, publishers of Careers with STEM and Science Meets Business and by Fizzics Education, and Inspiring Australia NSW, the STEM Lightning Lunches are an opportunity to talk about your program, meet thought leaders in the STEM space, speak to like minded people and come up with collaborative practise in STEM programs.

“Really well done to you and colleagues on a successful and engaging session just now. It was as close as humanly possible to an actual in-person networking event. I have fired off a number of LinkedIn requests and Simon and I have made some good connections. So thank you very much for your organisational wizardry.”Paul Holper, Director, ScieTell Pty Ltd

What’s on the program?

Sept 30: How to build your network

  • How can mentoring help you to build your network?
  • Building connections internationally
  • Networking strategies


Stephen Rutter

At 32, Stephen had to manage himself out of a great job – he had built a business unit to $33m in annual gross revenue that managed the logistics of ALL the Hollywood productions that were shot in Australia. But travelling to LA every two months took its toll. So the best thing he thought to do was to complete an MBA. Not having a university degree was perceived as a roadblock to move out of the entertainment industry into a “proper” job. After completing his MBA, Stephen was seconded to Flinders University as an Executive in Residence, establishing the New Venture Institute. His most recent corporate experience was as founding Head of Experience at Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, a $25m initiative of the NSW Government to seed next generation entrepreneurship and connect 12 Institutions, 700,000 students and over 200 campuses NSW-wide. Now, Stephen has built his own innovation consultancy, The Scale Institute, where he and his peers are designing innovative learning strategies and product development opportunities with a varied group of clients across Australia (that all value learning) including universities, large corporates and SMEs.

Arti Agrawal

Dr Arti Agrawal is a thought leader on diversity and a promoter of equality for women and LGBTBIQ+ people. She is the Director of the Women in Engineering and IT program at UTS. In this role she is responsible for policy, strategy and implementation to increase female participation in engineering and IT at UTS. In addition to her work at UTS she is also involved heavily with the IEEE, as Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion for IEEE Photonics Society.

Janice Vaz

Janice Vaz is an international PhD student at Western Sydney University and a mentoring recipient of the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM. She has spent the last seven years researching animal welfare and educating the lay audience about the natural world. It was challenging as an international student to start from scratch and build a network in a new place. She has overcome this by interacting with other fellow PhD students at the university who became good friends. Through her mentoring, she approached people and explored blogging as a way of reaching people. In addition to her extensive wildlife experience, Janice enjoys making animal illustrations and uses her social media accounts as a voice for the animals.

Jackie Randles

Described by an ecologist as a ‘creative pollinator’, Jackie is passionate about creating networks that deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for all involved. As manager Inspiring Australia NSW, Jackie’s role is to connect science and technology researchers and STEM engagement professionals with all kinds of organisations that can help extend the reach and impact of research knowledge and public programs. Building trust in relationships, brainstorming creatively and fostering enduring networks is key to this work, as is identifying new opportunities, finding ways to engage untapped audiences and articulating shared goals.

Be prepared with your offers of help! What can you bring to the table to help others?

  • Mentoring
  • Advice
  • Connections
  • Exposure
  • Friendliness

Have an ask – what are two things you’d like to get help with?

Be conversational – introduce yourself, share your asks, help us to AMPLIFY STEM.

Who should go?

  • STEM communicators
  • Educators (teachers/Career Advisors/Librarians)
  • Tertiary sector (researchers, lecturers and student recruitment / marketing)
  • Industry
  • Outreach/events organisers
  • Corporate recruiters with an interest in the STEM talent pipeline

Register here

STEM Lightning lunch