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APCRC-Q celebrates International Women's Day

The Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland (APCRC-Q) joined a host of organisations around the world in honouring the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present, and future by celebrating International Women's Day (IWD) on Sunday 8 March 2015.

Despite the masculine nature of its research, APCRC-Q is led by a team comprised largely of women. Almost sixty percent of APCRC-Q’s staff and students are female, and women are well represented at all levels and across a diverse range of positions within the Centre.  

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Make It Happen” -  encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. This aligns very well with the ethos of the APCRC-Q where almost half of the Centre’s research leaders are dynamic and internationally acclaimed female scientists and clinicians, who provide a rich source of inspiration and mentorship to young women pursuing careers in biomedical research and medicine. These leaders are indeed “making it happen” – both by championing women in science and also by leading the way in prostate cancer research.

Prof Colleen Nelson (Executive Director), DProf Judith Clements (Scientific Director), together with Prof Pamela Russell, Prof Lisa Chopin, Prof Patsy Yates, A/Prof Elizabeth Williams, Dr Sally-Anne Stephenson, Dr Jyotsna Batra, and Dr Jennifer Gunter, are at the forefront of Australia’s largest team of prostate cancer researchers, dedicated to improving prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“We are passionate about mentoring and encouraging young women within the scientific community,” said Executive Director, Prof Colleen Nelson. “As many as sixty-four percent of our higher degree research students and fifty-two percent of our early career researchers are women.”

Their efforts have yielded excellent results, with several of APCRC-Q women scientists receiving grants, accolades and awards in recognition of their success in prostate cancer research. Notably, Dr Natalie Bock recently won the 2015 Women in Technology (WiT) PhD Career Start Postgraduate Biotechnology Award  and QUT was presented with the 2015 WiT Employer of Choice Award.  In 2012, DProf Judith Clements took home the WiT Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement Award, and in 2013, Dr Jyotsna Batra was a finalist for the WiT Rising Star Award.

“On International Women’s Day we take the opportunity to reflect on and be grateful for the efforts of fair-minded men and women in the past, who have made it possible for women to be able to advance, succeed, and be recognised for our contributions within in the traditionally patriarchal world of science.” said DProf Judith Clements.

 IWD is celebrated at thousands of events held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Members of the APCRC-Q annually take part in a variety of these events in and around Brisbane, including the RACQ 5km International Women’s Day Fun Run.