Inspiring Australia: A national strategy for engaging with the sciences

The Inspiring Australia strategy aims to deliver a more scientifically engaged Australia where:

  • Australians are inspired by and value scientific endeavour
  • Australia attracts increasing national and international interest in its science
  • Australians critically engage with key scientific issues
  • Young Australians are encouraged to pursue studies and careers.
  • To help achieve an inspired Australia, the Government has allocated $28.1 million over four years in the 2014-15 Budget towards national science engagement strategies which include Inspiring Australia initiatives and Questacon programmes.

The Department, through the Questacon Division, is leading this national strategy.

Development of the strategy

The Inspiring Australia strategy was developed through national consultations with a wide range of science communicators, educators, journalists and scientists in all states and territories as well as the examination of recent national and international documents. It is a strategy that was developed by the science community for the science community. 

The Inspiring Australia report proposes a national strategy for public engagement.

The report, Inspiring Australia: A national strategy for engagement with the sciences  is available below.

The strategy in action

Leadership

Inspiring Australia has, three groups which provide leadership for science engagement in Australia.

  • The Commonwealth Officers Working Group encourages a coordinated approach to science communication with stakeholders and the Australian public.
  • A State and Territories Officers Working Group established with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Advisory Committee on Innovation, is facilitating a cohesive approach to science communication by Federal, State and Territory governments in support of the strategy.
  • The establishment of a Science Sector Group brings together national non-government organisations. This group facilitates collaborative activities.

These groups are: 

  • sharing key ideas and programme information
  • identifying opportunities for collaboration and partnerships
  • providing a forum for strategy development and implementation. 

Inspiring Australia officers, located in each state and territory, support the strategy in partnership with state and territory governments and local institutions.

These officers play a key role in enabling a ‘national framework – local action’ approach in support of the strategy. These officers are helping to: 

  • align local and national strategies
  • strengthen science communication networks within states and territories
  • identify partnerships and linkages to address priority needs and communities
  • build year-round opportunities for targeted audiences. 

In addition, Inspiring Australia has developed a Framework of Principles to support a unified and consistent approach to policy development and programme implementation by Australian organisations, businesses and governments towards advancing science engagement in Australia.

National Strategy

The Inspiring Australia Report provides an Australia-wide framework for engaging people and communities in the sciences. Ongoing development of this strategy is important to build partnerships and maximise impacts.

Six expert working groups have developed recommendations to strengthen science engagement and to provide further enhancement to the ongoing strategy.

National Programmes

  • Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science
    Australia’s most prestigious awards for excellence in science research and science teaching are a key part of the Inspiring Australia strategy to recognise and tell the story of Australia’s achievements.
  • National Science Week
    National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology and thousands of individuals get involved, taking part in more than 1000 science events across the nation.
  • Unlocking Australia’s Potential
    This grants programme provided a total of $5 million to 63 projects to increase Australians’ interest and involvement in science, including a focus on youth, Indigenous Australians and regional communities. 
  • Science and the media
    Six projects have been undertaken to provide media skills for scientists, to host topical science forums for the media, to develop resources for working journalists, to support professional development in science journalism, and to develop a focus on ‘science in the media’ in schools.
  • Developing the evidence base
    Four projects have been undertaken to audit and collate data on science engagement activity and best practice, and to develop evaluation tools. 
  • Science and society
    The strategy recognises the importance of broadening society’s understanding of the value of science and research. Initiatives such as Science Meets Parliament and Science Meets Policymakers contribute to this need. 

Contact Details

Please contact us for more information on the Inspiring Australia strategy.

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