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Speech given by the Governor at the BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards

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Hello to everyone attending today, whether in person or online.

I am so pleased to be involved once again with these BioMelbourne awards. And, I want to congratulate everyone involved in the process.

For the second year in a row, you have not allowed an obvious range of obstacles to defeat you, in the nomination and judging of worthy recipients and the presentation of the awards today.

These awards are important.

Women are still, (just as they are in so many significant areas), under-represented in biotech, medtech and pharmaceuticals. Girls are still not being attracted into these sciences, in the numbers we need.

At the same time, there are many successful and clever women to celebrate.

Brilliant in their chosen fields, making such an enormous contribution to a sector so integral to the prosperity of Victoria, in both economic and broader terms.

Representing our State here and overseas has given me a particular insight into our strengths in life sciences and research.

We have much of which to be proud, including, during the pandemic, the contributions of our researchers and epidemiologists.

We can also be proud that the Australian Institutes for Infectious Diseases and Global Health will be located in the Parkville precinct.

This pandemic has taught us many lessons.

A central one is that we need every brilliant mind to rally.

Never have we been more aware that we simply cannot succeed in the best health outcomes unless we are able to rely on the skill and dedication of our brightest women, as well as our brightest men.

In fact, something positive from this pandemic is just how often we have heard from and relied upon expert women: government health officials, researchers and doctors.

It is gratifying that a generation of children, fixated as we have all been on the science, will see women represented in every part of an exciting and admired career.

Thank you to BioMelbourne Network for continuing to raise the profile of women, and for ensuring that more and more girls see themselves in these leaders.

Congratulations too of course to the award winners, and thank you for your achievements, helping to enrich the lives of all Victorians, and often those far beyond our shores.