News & Events

National Youth Science Forum


Two Catherine McAuley College students have been accepted in the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) Year 12 Program for 2021. The successful applicants, Deanna Duane and Toby Costigan, will be financially supported to take part by the District 9800 Rotary Clubs, along with two students from Bendigo Senior Secondary College and two from East Loddon P-12 College.

The NYSF Year 12 Program is a 10-day program designed to give students a broader understanding of the diverse study and career options available in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to encourage further pursuit of the subjects.

Deanna said “I applied for the program because I really love STEM and was excited by the thought of learning more about possible career pathways. At the moment I don’t really know which area of STEM in particular I want to pursue, as everything interests me so much.”

Due to COVID-19, the NYSF will not be run as a residential program in 2021. Instead, participants will take part in an online program across two weeks in January featuring all the STEM elements the NYSF is famous for: speakers, behind the scenes tours, workshops, debates, expos and social activities.

If COVID-19 restrictions permit, the January program will also include local events and visits, enabling students to safely engage with their peers and experience the networking and community aspects of the program.

Participants will join the extensive alumni network of over 12,000 individuals who have previously attended the forum and will gain access to a lifetime of STEM professional development and peer networking events. Throughout the rest of 2021, participants will also be able to access a wide variety of NYSF Connect Alumni events for further professional development and networking.

Toby has been inspired by his teachers to consider teaching as a profession. “I’m still working things out,” he said. “I am looking forward to the magnitude of the experiences NYSF offers, and it is one of the main reasons I ended up applying.”

Some of the keynote speakers engaged for the coming program include Nobel Prize Winner and Astrophysicist, Prof Brian Schmidt, ABC Identity and Science Communicator, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Women in STEM Ambassador and Astrophysicist, Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Prof Tanya Monro, along with many more.

One of Rotary’s objectives is to provide innovative and practical opportunities, to assist and motivate children and young people to acquire learning and life skills. Youth Director, Ms Joy Bruce said that Rotary District 9800 is proud to support the students with information, interviews and a financial contribution. Deanna is supported by the Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst and Toby by the Rotary Club of Bendigo.