Dr Theresa Larkin smiles at the camera. Photo: Paul Jones

Dr Theresa Larkin named a Superstar of STEM

Dr Theresa Larkin named a Superstar of STEM

Expert in anatomy and medical science to inspire young Australians to pursue careers in STEM

Meet one of Australia’s newest Superstars of STEM – Dr Theresa Larkin.

An outstanding medical science educator  and researcher, Dr Larkin was today (Friday, 18 November) named among the nation’s official Superstars of STEM. 

The program is an initiative of Science & Technology Australia, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources, and aims to smash gender assumptions about who can and should work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Ed Husic MP announced the next cohort of diverse and brilliant experts who will take part in the 2023 and 2024 program, becoming highly-visible media and public role models.   

Through a highly competitive selection process, the program selects 60 women and non-binary STEM experts and gives them the training, confidence, networks and experience to become sought-after media commentators as experts in their fields. 

Dr Larkin, a Senior Lecturer in UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine, was thrilled to be named a Superstar of STEM and said she was proud to be blazing a trail for up-and-coming scientists to follow in her footsteps.

“I love all of what I do as scientist – teaching, researching and communicating about the wonders of the human body,” Dr Larkin said.

“I love the variety of a science career, and that I am always learning new things, whether that is teaching UOW medical students or researching how hormones affect our health and wellbeing. I also love inspiring others’ interest in science – from local ABC Illawarra radio listeners to students in primary and high schools, including in rural and remote areas.”  

Dr Theresa Larkin is pictured with a body model used in her medical science classes. Photo: Paul Jones

Professor David Currow, UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health and Sustainable Communities) and Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), said he was delighted that Dr Larkin was chosen to take part in the prestigious program.

“Often the wider public is unaware of the amazing work underway by researchers at universities, because the science can seem complicated and difficult to understand. But science should and can be accessible, and Theresa is the perfect example of a researcher and educator who understands this.

“She is able to break down thorny subjects and communicate them in a way that is easy to understand. She is a superstar and we are thrilled that has been confirmed. Congratulations, Theresa, and we look forward to seeing more of your work in the coming years.”

Minister Husic congratulated the newest Superstars of STEM on stepping into the public arena to help inspire the next generations of diverse young Australians into STEM. 

“The need to boost diversity in our science, technology, engineering and mathematics sector is urgent,” he said.

“There are huge skills shortages that can be addressed if we put our minds and collective effort to it – which means we have to draw deeply on our nation’s expertise from all corners of the community. 

“I just know these talented experts and communicators will play their part inspiring Australia’s young people – from all backgrounds – into science and technology.”

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said the program gave women and non-binary talent in STEM crucial skills and confidence to step into expert commentary roles in the media.

“We know it’s really hard to be what you can’t see,” she said. “That’s why this game-changing program is helping to smash stereotypes of what a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician looks like.

“By becoming highly visible role models in the media, these Superstars of STEM are showing our diverse next generations of young people - especially our girls and non-binary kids - that STEM is for them.”