Tall Poppy Video Conference Program Announced

Tall Poppy Video Conference Program

The Tall Poppy Campaign was created by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science in 1998 to promote an awareness of Australia’s intellectual achievements among the Australian public. The Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise the achievements of outstanding young researchers and engages them in the promotion of science and innovation in the community.

The Tall Poppies Reaching Students Program provides students with access to positive role models who are high achievers in their scientific field, to encourage students to think about the possibility of a career in science, and to stimulate a renewed interest in science generally. As part of this program the Tall Poppy Campaign has partnered with VSSEC to offer a FREE monthly Video Conference program.

The presentations will be aimed at students in Years 9-12 (schools may request sessions for younger students). Each session will be 45min including time for questions. Students are encouraged to email questions for the presenter to bookings@vssec.vic.edu.au prior to the session as well as ask questions during the session. A max of three classes can participate in each session.

Please refer to the Video Conferencing section of VSSEC's website for more information and booking details. 




15th June


Associate Professor Josephine Forbes, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
Diabetes complications

Josephine researches diabetes and its complications, which are set to become the major health epidemic of this century. More than 1.5 million Australians are affected and approximately half of these will develop complications which cause debilitating disease including blindness, kidney disease and heart attacks. More ...

28th July


Dr. Angus Johnston, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Melbourne
Nanotechnology, drug delivery systems for cancer and HIV

Many diseases, such as cancer, are not effectively treated because the drugs are not efficiently delivered to the correct area of the body. For example, in chemotherapy the drugs used are highly toxic and kill large numbers of healthy cells along with cancer cells. To solve this problem, the drug can be encased inside tiny capsules, which can flow around the body seeking out their target – such as cancer cells. The capsules protect both the drug from degradation by the body and the body from any potentially harmful side effects of the drug. More ...

22nd August


Dr. Sandra McLaren, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
Earth Sciences

Sandra is motivated by the importance of the Earth Sciences in global resource sustainability and contemporary political, economic and social issues. She has worked on a wide range of problems in earth science research and her research interests have evolved in part to maintain relevance to the wider community. More ...

13th September


Dr. Natalie Hannan, Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne
Female fertility and assisted reproductive technologies

Dr Hannan’s research focuses on how a healthy pregnancy is established, particularly understanding the remarkable interactions between the conceptus (commonly known as the ‘embryo’) and the lining of the womb (endometrium). More ...

25th October


Dr. Sarah Meachem, Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research
Reproduction and male fertility

Sarah specialises in the field of reproduction. Sarah is looking at the hormonal factors that determine sperm production. More ...

16th November


Dr. Paul Francis, Deakin University
Chemiluminescence Detection, flow analysis, microfluidics

The luminous glow of fireflies and the brilliant blue emission of light from the ‘luminol’ spray reagent used by police for the visualisation of blood at crime scenes are two well known examples of ‘chemiluminescence’ (chemical reactions that produce light). This phenomenon can also be utilised to detect important molecules such as the biomarkers of disease, illicit drugs, or traces of chemical or biological weapons in a terrorist attack, using instruments that can measure light more sensitively than the naked eye. More ...

8th December


Dr. Justin Boddey, The Walter and Eliza Hall Insitute of Medical Research
Malaria Protein Tracking and Host Cell Remodelling

Malaria is the most important parasitic infection of humanity. Every year, Plasmodiumparasites infect over 600 million people worldwide, resulting in over 2 million deaths and drug resistance is now widespread, highlighting an urgent need for new antimalarial therapies. More ...