Prestigious STEM Ambassador role for UQ soil scientist

7 May 2021

Dr Chelsea JankeThe University of Queensland's Dr Chelsea Janke will build stronger relationships between science, technology and public policy as one of Science & Technology Australia’s STEM Ambassadors in 2021.

Dr Janke, a postdoctoral researcher in soil science, will be the STEM Ambassador to Mr Bert van Manen, the Member for Forde, Queensland.

Chelsea will meet regularly with the MP to build the association between Parliament and the STEM sector and help politicians gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Australia.

Dr Janke is one of 17 new STEM Ambassadors around Australia. The STEM Ambassadors are drawn from Science & Technology Australia’s member organisations and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and interests.

The prestigious program - which began in 2019 - aims to encourage the involvement of science experts in Australian policy-making and bring their science expertise and networks to assist evidence-based policy-making.

Dr Janke said she was excited to be able to represent the STEM community and hoped to be a strong ambassador for science and technology in public policy.

“Being a STEM Ambassador also affords me the opportunity to offer insights to policy and decision-makers on the power of evidence-based initiatives and the benefits of supporting and encouraging science in Australia.”

“The STA STEM Ambassador program appeals is a great opportunity to learn more about the formation of policy and decision-making and to promote the utilization of science in these processes. Being able to actively engage with my MP is a great way to better understand the political landscape and how STEM fields can effect positive change on local and national scales.”

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert congratulated Dr Janke on being selected for the STEM Ambassador program in 2021.

“Science has been Australia’s salvation in tackling COVID-19. Australia needs to continue to build on that strong relationship between the STEM sector and Parliamentarians to prepare Australia to meet future challenges," she said.

“The STEM Ambassador program empowers experts to become effective advocates for science and the sector, and to use their expertise to inform policy to shape Australia’s future.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr Chelsea Janke to the STEM Ambassador program and look forward to seeing them develop a strong working relationship with Mr Bert van Manen to make sure science and technology are at the forefront of policy decisions.”

Media: Dominic Jarvis,, +61 413 334 924.