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Good News Stories

By Henry Kean 
NYSF was an amazing experience for a student like me. I was fortunate enough to get into the health and medicine group which is an area of study I am very interested in. I was a little bit sceptical about the people that I was going to meet at NYSF, however, all of them were terrific people who I’m sure I will stay in touch with for a long time. Some of the highlights of NYSF for me were visiting the vet hospital. I had the opportunity to watch surgery on a dog which was having breathing problems. The NYSF really got me thinking about what to do in the future which is something that I have struggled to decide on for a long time. I would recommend the NYSF to anyone interested it is an amazing experience. I also would like to thank Bruce Hunt and Tony Muller for convincing me to attend the NYSF and the work that they put into preparing me for the selection process. 
“An incredible, memorable life-changing experience.” 
By Nick Versic
Where do I even begin? I was warned by some of the Staffies (a small group of incredibly talented, enthusiastic mentors) on the National Youth Science Forum that I wouldn’t be able to truly explain my experience when I got home, and I only understand now the exact feeling they were describing. The experience allowed me to grow as both an aspiring member of the science community, and also as a person.
The National Youth Science Forum is a 12 day residential program for students who are passionate about science heading into year 12. The program focuses on providing once-in-a-life-time science experiences to participants. It showcased careers and study pathways in science fields, allowing for the opportunity to listen to talented scientific speakers who are making revolutionary discoveries, as well as providing networking opportunities with like-minded, young scientists and industry professionals. 
The trip began with an early flight from Rockhampton to Sydney, with a short stop-over in Brisbane, before riding a 4 hour bus trip to Canberra. While the program itself hadn’t really began yet, to me, the experience had: I felt so many different emotions, got the opportunity to meet some of my fellow NYSFers from all over the country, and also had my first experience with the energetic “Staffies”, whose chanting, singing and dancing kept us entertained and engaged the entirety of the bus trip. 
The next two weeks in the nation’s capital were full (and I mean very full) of so many experiences. Visits in my health and medical science group of Blackburn included a behind-the-scenes tour of the pathology clinic at the Canberra Hospital, a visit to the Canberra animal emergency hospital, and a discussion with leading medical researchers at the Canberra Hospital. We also participated in a variety of workshops related to pharmacy, speech pathology and occupational therapy at the University of Canberra, a workshop in designing STEM policy with STEM Policy Director for the Australian Academy of Science Chris Hatherly, as well as a workshop that simulated the work of the “Engineers Without Borders” humanitarian group, where we designed and constructed our own water filters and floating houses that fulfilled a range of criteria. During the trip, we were also given the opportunity to explore the city of Canberra, visiting the Mint, Parliament House and the War Memorial, as well as both the Australian National University and the University of Canberra. 
As an extension of these wonderful experiences, we heard from a range of amazing and interesting members of the science community, including a talk on fibre optics by a leading researcher in the field, Professor Benjamin Eggleton, a Q&A session with researcher, Doctor Michael Doser, from CERN laboratories’ on The Standard Model of Particle Physics, a presentation on illicit drugs by the hilarious Science Policy Adviser Doctor David Caldicott, and a talk about a range of science related topics from Professor Lyn Beazley (including her research into neurology, her studies into colour vision in native Australian mammals, her role in a project that provided microscopes to Western Australian Schools and her role as Chief Scientist of Western Australia), amongst many other very interesting speakers who came from a range of backgrounds and who had taken a range of pathways to reach the point that they are at now, which, in itself, was very inspiring.
As well as serious science topics, sharing experiences and a love of science with 200 other like-minded young people was truly mind-blowing and unforgettable. I would like to sincerely thank the Rotary Club of South Gladstone for sponsoring me and providing invaluable support throughout the application process, without which I would never have had the opportunity to participate in such an incredible, memorable, life-changing experience.