A Message from the Director

Questacon Director, Professor Graham Durant

October, 2018

Hello and welcome! I am Professor Graham Durant, the Director of Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre. As a Specialist Division of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Questacon embraces its unique capability to deliver on science communication through its core activities, exhibitions and programs to all Australians. Every day, Questacon engages Australians in STEM to stimulate creativity, spark imagination and encourage the momentum needed to meet the challenges of the future. At a time of unparalleled change, challenge and opportunity, these are essential qualities for Australia's future leaders.

Working towards our vision of a better future for all Australians through engagement with science, technology and innovation, we deliver inspirational learning experiences across Australia and globally. As an influential voice in the global Science Centre community, Questacon is a vehicle for delivering activities to support the Australian Government's science agendas, as well as contributing to the work of the United Nations in Science Centre capacity building and implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Questacon's newest exhibition, Colour - See the World in a New Light, explores the origins of colour in the natural and human-made worlds as well as personal relationships with colour. This exhibition is a collaboration with other Australian scientific organisations, Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science. It aims to encourage visitors to share and compare their perceptions of colour, create experiences that challenge assumptions and beliefs about the world, and show the variety and extent of colour usage and experience in other animals and in the natural world.

Each year in January, Questacon holds the Smart Skills National Invention Convention at The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre in Deakin. The convention hosts 26 young delegates from across Australia in Canberra for a week of learning, creating and developing the skills needed to become the next generation of great Australian innovators and inventors. It is hard not to get excited about the legacy this program is creating as past convention delegates continue to be involved as ambassadors, sharing their passion with future participants. One of the great pleasures we regularly have the opportunity to observe, is the impact on individuals as the world opens up before them like this young person from our 2017 Questacon Invention Convention:

"The most important thing I learnt was what to do with my ideas. I used to come up with ideas and write them down but not know what to do with them. But now when I think of an idea I know how to get started and make my idea a reality and I think that was a very valuable skill and I'm thankful that I learnt how to do that."
– National Invention Convention Delegate

Questacon delivers activities across Australia with support of our partners who are committed to investing in Australia's young people. The organisations Questacon works with share our common vision. Our partners see the value of long-term and sustained investment in the future, with partnerships typically spanning years and a variety of activities. Our partners make our achievements and successes possible.

There are so many exciting opportunities for our members and visitors to continue to connect and inspire a love of science, exploring innovation and science behind our interactive and hands-on experiences. I look forward to seeing you at Questacon soon!

Professor Graham Durant AM, Questacon Director