What is Inspiring South Australia?

Inspiring South Australia is this state’s implementation of the national Inspiring Australia Strategy to strengthen our society’s engagement with the sciences.

The Strategy involves a diverse range of actions and initiatives within each state and territory, with the common goal of contributing to a society that values science, critically engages with scientific issues, encourages young people to pursue STEM careers and attracts national and international interest in science.

The ultimate aim is to enhance public engagement with sciences and to improve scientific literacy through facilitating collaboration amongst organisations and individuals involved in science engagement and through supporting complementary activities.

The Inspiring South Australia program considers that a society that critically engages with, and is literate in, key scientific issues to be the priority for its activities in South Australia. Three principles guide investment in and delivery of the Inspiring South Australia program:

  • Personal Engagement with the Process of Science: scientifically sound activities that illuminate the processes of discovery on topics that are personally challenging and relevant for the local context, delivered in a way that has impact for the audience
  • Building Capacity through Collaboration: initiatives that build capability and collaboration in and across communities so that, as a state, we can deliver outstanding activities by optimising our existing strengths and resources
  • Imagination and Innovation: approaches and activities that are imaginative, innovative and allow for exploration of new possibilities

These principles guide delivery of the Inspiring South Australia program plan which includes:

  • support for the operations of National Science Week
  • establishment and support of regional science hubs
  • facilitation of a year round program of science engagement in the capital city and regional hubs

Inspiring South Australia is integral to key State Government commitments and priorities. Through delivery of key elements of the contract the program will:

  • provide a valuable contribution to the state economic priorities
  • enhance STEM opportunities, participation and literacy
  • improve participation of disadvantaged, under-engaged and not-yet-engaged audiences

Governance, guidance and support of the program involves regular Steering Group meetings along with operational level governance through advisory and working groups. Guidance and support is also provided through regular national Inspiring Australia meetings and forums.

“….contributing to a society that values science, critically engages with scientific issues, encourages young people to pursue STEM careers and attracts national and international interest in science.”

star fish

museum 3

Photographs by Sarah Keenihan. The second image captures ‘Colliding Worlds’, 41 laser engraved Petri dishes by Lea Kanner-Lichtenberger. This artwork was an entry in the 2016 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize at SA Museum.