March 18 - 24, 2018: Issue 352

 Pittwater's Sonja Elwood Nominated To Be A Women In STEM Calendar Girl: What Does A Lady Scientist Look Like?

To raise awareness of the lack of women in senior STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths) positions a photo competition is currently underway with the tag #oglethis. Pittwater's Sonja Elwood has been nominated to be part of this by Lynleigh Grieg, regular columnist on rescuing and caring for our local fauna.

As the organisers explain;

'Some calendars might suggest that women spend their time lazing around on over-accessorized cars but we hope to capture the alternative side of life.

Please get involved by posting a photograph of a woman, a mum, or a wild fairy god mother capturing the reality of life or showing off impressive tasks that more accurately portray why women truly are amazing."

Those inspired by the idea are asked to post a photo on this Facebook page with a 20 word max caption, your name and email address. The 12 photos with the most likes by May 1st will win a spot in a 2018/2019 financial year calendar and the winning photo will be printed on a stubby cooler and available for purchase. 

The photos posted so far are amazing - wonderful women doing brilliant things all over Australia and in every discipline of STEM vocations - although none of them are 'glam' captures when you see a lady with flies massed along her lips in a interior region, or another dressed in thick blue coveralls while monitoring loggerhead turtles. These girls are climbing trees, scaling cliff faces, monitoring the impacts of livestock grazing on wildlife, one is a condensed matter physicist and work with 2D materials, another is filming Palm Cockatoos, and milking Death Adders, another measuring terns with one hand while her three week old is nestled in her lap!

The Proceeds will go towards Deb Bower's Homeward Bound Leadership Course and Antarctic Voyage:

Deb Bower is passionate about equality and diversity in the world and especially in science and is raising funds to complete the Homeward Bound leadership program developed specifically for women in science. 

The 'Calendar Girls' comp also promotes another aspect Deb is looking into and wanting to garner and spread more insight on, namely; what do women scientists look like?

If those photos shared so far are anything to go by, Australian Women STEM Professionals look like you and me, if you're a girl too, and they are talking to other women all around the world and working with them in every field to look after what's here for its sake, as much as so future humankind can see it too, and are adding to knowledge on everything under the sun (and underground in some cases) in all STEM positions.

Example: Sarah Kachovich - Deep sea drilling in the Indian Ocean to understand how and why big earthquakes happen. This photo is of the last core of our expedition. Photo credit Tim Fulton

Although limited to 20 words per image Lynleigh did her best to cram in a small overview of this local STEM legend:

"Sonja Elwood is exactly the kind of woman I would want my daughter (and son!) to emulate. 20 years ago Sonja founded volunteer wildlife rescue organisation Sydney Wildlife and has been rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife for over 30 years (whilst raising her own family)! 

Sonja is regularly involved in bush regeneration and is a tireless advocate for the rights and welfare of native wildlife and the environment.

In addition, Sonja has the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Environmental Science (Macquarie University)
  • Master Wildlife Management (Macquarie University), Golden key Member
  • Master Research – PhD bundle researching the History and Ecology of Sydney’s urban Bandicoots (Macquarie University) - currently undertaking

In the below photos, Sonja is installing and inspecting nestboxes - surveying for the vulnerable Eastern Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus nanus) in bushland in Sydney’s north."


Welcome To The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club: RPAYC - On Pittwater!

In January Pittwater Online ran a small celebration of people enjoying the Australia Day long weekend on the Pittwater estuary. Since then a few other on estuary places have been forwarded with requests to showcase that blue and green heart of Pittwater and highlight all the compass points. Some of these are new celebrations while others stem from a few years ago.

As Autumn is one of the best seasons to enjoy where we're living (not too hot, not too cold = just right), a few of these run this week to show you what you can get up to, among them some great ideas for the upcoming rest many will have over Easter (March 30- April 3) or the not too soon after that Autumn School Holiday break (April 14-29).

Thank you to all who have sent in these reminders of all these other bays, semi-deserted beaches, walks, sail paths and treasured nooks.
This week's 'pictorial' is for all of you who have called out for 'MORE'!

Autumn In Pittwater: 2018

Cassia (Senna pendula). Also known as Senna and Arsenic Bush. Originating in South American, Cassia is a perennial sprawling multi-stemmed shrub or tree up to 5m tall. 

This weed replaces native vegetation and establishes in a wide range of native plant communities, including coastal heath and scrubland, hinddunes and riparian corridors. The large seed pods are eaten by birds and other animals. 

Currently flowering - please pull out and get rid of if you have in your garden or join a local Bushcare Group to help Pittwater rid itself of this weed.
All shapes, colours and sizes of funghi now popping up everywhere

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