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Bio Technology : July 2009
AusBioSTUDENTS BioFutures forum, for the future of biotechnology By Paula Souvannavong, ABSA QLD “BioFutures is a fantastic way for top high school students to experience university life, and get a real feel for what the want to do in their career. The benefit of attending BioFutures is enormous: students meet important industry people, make new friends and gain real-life mentors that they wouldn’t otherwise have.” Taiboos Human, BioFutures participant. Linking science students with industry is now more important than ever as solutions to imperative challenges in agriculture, health and the environment are required from the industry. However, a report by the OECD warns that more than a third of top science students are turning away from careers or further study in scientific fields. ABSA runs the BioFutures forum that gathers and stimulates the future ‘brains’ of the bio-industry. Selected senior secondary from Queensland and New Zealand reside on campus at the University of Queensland, and throughout the week visit several universities and research institutes in Brisbane. This year, the ABSA committee is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Current co-chair of BioFutures and 2006 participant, Sally Fry says: “BioFutures had a positive impact on me. I want to make sure that successive students can share the same benefits that I did.” Ms Fry is studying science at the University of Queensland, planning to follow a career in medicine. She credits BioFutures for her choices: “The camp really opens your eyes to the endless possibilities of science.” A student from 2003, Jennifer Brett mimicked these comments and used her experiences from BioFutures to become a qualified Biomedical engineer through the Queensland University of Technology. Ms Brett recognises that BioFutures helped with her degree decision making and with her transition into university life. Thank you to our 2009 BioFutures forum partners, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University, for their ongoing participation and support. Volume 19 • Number 2 • July 2009 Australasian BioTechnology 63