veski supports Graeme Clark Oration for a fifth year

11 March
Sir Paul Nurse delivers the 2015 Graeme Clark Oration in front of Victorian students and teachers
Sir Paul Nurse delivers the 2015 Graeme Clark Oration in front of Victorian students and teachers

As part of the veski inspiring students (& teachers) program more than 100 students and teachers from regional Victoria travelled to Melbourne for a day of inspiring activities including the Graeme Clark Oration. The 2015 Graeme Clark Oration, delivered by Sir Paul Nurse the President of the Royal Society in the UK, marked veski’s fifth consecutive year of hosting students and teachers at the annual event. 

Watch the 2015 Graeme Clark Oration

Prior to the Graeme Clark Oration activities students from Kyneton and Maffra Secondary Colleges visited the University of Melbourne and the Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre respectively.  

Students from Kyneton Secondary College visit the University of Melbourne

Students and teachers from Kyneton Secondary College attended a tour of the University of Melbourne campus, giving them an insight into university life.  This was followed by a presentation on the development of the Bionic Eye by Clive Boyd.  Students had the opportunity to discover how engineering links with biomedicine in many amazing ways, visiting the lab where researchers actually develop the microchips to be used in not only the Bionic Eye but in all kinds of different devices, including mobile phones. 

Maffra Secondary College students and teachers visit Peter Mac

Maffra Secondary College visited the Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre where they undertook tours of the labs, had the opportunity to take part in experiments with PhD students, and heard from Alex Davenport, a third year PhD student who outlined his experiences at Peter Mac and how he has got to where he is today. These opportunities gave students an insight into what it is like to work in a lab and hear from someone who wasn’t an over achiever at secondary college but is succeeding in his research career. 

Students and teachers from Kyneton, Maffra, Mooroopna, Keysborough and Neerim District then joined other students from across Victoria for the Students Engagement Activity with the 2015 Orator at the Melbourne Conference & Exhibition Centre. This session focused on Sir Paul’s early life, what has inspired him and how he got to be the President of the Royal Society. Students had the opportunity to engage with Sir Paul by posing questions for him about his research, his life and science. 

Following the Students Engagement Activity, students and teachers attended the Oration “Controlling How Cells Reproduce”. Sir Paul described the experiments from his laboratory which led to the identification of that mechanism and that showed it was conserved throughout the tree of life. The mechanisms that Sir Paul discussed contribute to our understanding of diseases, in particular cancer. 

Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist who has worked on how the eukaryotic cell cycle is controlled and how cell shape and cell dimensions are determined. His major work has been on the cyclin dependent protein kinases and how they regulate cell reproduction. 

veski chief executive officer with Maffra Secondary School teacherAt the Oration Maffra Secondary College was announced by Sir Paul Nurse and Laureate Professor emeritus Graeme Clark as the recipients of the inaugural Graeme Clark Award for Science Innovation in Schools. The recipients were invited to receive their award and have their photo taken with Sir Paul on stage. The Award has been established to celebrate and acknowledge science innovation in Victorian schools that has added value to the school community by raising the profile of science through innovative practices, partnerships and programs. 

As part of veski’s ongoing support of the Graeme Clark Oration, 24 students and 4 teachers attended the Oration Dinner along with veski directors, veski innovation fellows, veski connection members and representatives of Government. The dinner gave students the opportunity to engage directly with real life scientists, leaders in medical research, academia, business and government communities and talk to them about their areas of work. At the dinner Sir Paul Nurse participated in a Q&A with the audience facilitated by Natasha Mitchell from ABC Radio National, giving students a second opportunity to ask questions. 

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