Developed in consultation with the science community, the Inspiring Australia Strategy identifies the need for national leadership, a national strategy and targeted national programs to strengthen the broad and diverse science engagement scene in Australia.
Inspiring Australia has, in conjunction with the Australian Government’s Coordination Committee on Innovation, established an ongoing working group to provide a whole-of-government approach to supporting the Inspiring Australia strategy.
Another working group, similarly established with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Advisory Committee on Innovation, is facilitating a coherent approach by Federal, State and Territory governments in support of the strategy.
These groups are:
- sharing key ideas and program information
- identifying opportunities for collaboration and partnerships
- providing a forum for strategy development and implementation.
Inspiring Australia officers, located in each state and territory, are co-funded by the Australian Government 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.
The Inspiring Australia Report provides, for the first time, 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 in relation to:
- Indigenous Australians
- Tropical regions
- Marine science
- Desert regions
- Mainstream and social media
- Developing an evidence base.
These reports provide a coherent, national approach for the science community and partner organisations to respond to the needs and opportunities identified in each of these key areas.
Inspiring Australia funding is now supporting national programs which address recommendations of the ‘Science and the media’ and ‘Developing an evidence base’ expert working group reports.
This new grants program provides 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.
Australia’s annual celebration of science attracts more than 1.4 million people of all ages to over 1000 events across the length and breadth of the nation.
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.
Five projects are underway 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.
Three projects are underway 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, hosted by Science and Technology Australia, and the Human Dimension National Forum, hosted by the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, contribute to this element.
Please contact us for more information on the Inspiring Australia strategy.