Friday, 17 November 2023

SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards

I am very pleased to join you this evening for the presentation of the Science Excellence and Innovation Awards.

These awards present an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of South Australian STEMM leaders to our state’s, our nation’s and even our global understanding of science and technology.

As Governor it’s my great pleasure to witness first-hand some of South Australia’s most exciting research work, as well as visit local institutions and businesses applying research to develop cutting edge technologies that make our lives better.

Some of the places I’ve had the privilege of visiting this year include:

  • Micro-X at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct, which is revolutionising x-ray technology;
  • The Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources at Lot 14, which is developing the ability to grow plants in space;
  • Biobin Technologies at Langhorne Creek, whose work addresses our growing need to recycle the large amounts of organic and wet materials being sent to landfill;

Recognition for South Australians working in science and technology is important, and I hope my visits to these organisations contribute to this in a modest way.

Awards are another worthy avenue to recognise outstanding work, and it’s excellent to see a wide range of worthy finalists being honoured this evening.

Your contributions span a wide range of endeavour, from advances in medical and biomedical testing, vaccinations, clean and green x-ray technology, to sports technology, STEMM education, and more.

I thank the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science for running these awards, and event sponsors for offering their support.

STEMM leaders are key to building equitable prosperity, healthy communities and environments, and developing solutions to some of society's most pressing challenges.

Through these awards, you are supporting the careers of STEMM leaders as well as providing our education, business, industry and governance sectors with a unique source of expertise and connection.


This past winter, Government House took part in the Illuminate Adelaide festival.

A beautiful short film called Into the Light, featuring some of South Australia’s most prominent women of the past and present, was projected onto the house façade and attracted more than 60,000 visitors.

One of the women featured was Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist. She is quoted in the film, saying:

“Fundamentally I think science matters because it's the way we create solutions to current problems.

It's the way we ask the big questions that give us the chance to do things differently.

There's nothing more profound. It creates hope. It creates possibility. It makes you feel like you can make a difference.”

Thank you to all of this evening’s finalists for making a difference. You do us proud.

I wish all our finalists all the best for the future and encourage you to continue pursuing excellence in your careers.

Coming events