Welcome to the March edition

From the President

The first two events for the year have been most successful and well attended. They have provided opportunities for RACI members and a variety of people in the community to interact, pass on information, and be acknowledged.

The Global Breakfast, hosted by the Women in Chemistry group, was a delightful start to the day for women working in chemistry related careers. It was also an opportunity for some of our chemistry students to listen to the varied career pathways of three female chemists and recognise that life’s journey can take us in unexpected directions.

The annual RACI Merit Ceremony was a delightful end to the week, with parents and teachers celebrating the success of their students in Stage 2 Chemistry in 2020. One family, from Port Lincoln, was able to attend despite a car accident on the way. They were keen to take a photo to show to this student’s Chemistry teacher, who was only in his second year of teaching, to acknowledge this combined achievement of student and teacher.

If you are not part of the Branch committee but would like to be involved in any of the Branch activities or the Group’s activities, please send me an email to let me know.

Robyn Pillans
President, RACI SA Branch

Upcoming Events


The Science of the Periodic Table: Periodic Table in Every Day Life

How does the Periodic Table feature in our everyday life? Hydrogen and helium were the first elements formed after the Big Bang with the newest element, Hassium, discovered in 1984. The 118 elements listed in the Periodic Table form the basis for our universe, the world, and everything in it. Are we made up of all 118 elements of the Periodic Table?

We are pleased to announce our panellists are:

A/Prof Tom Raimondo - Geology and Geochemistry, University of South Australia

Dr Louisa Esdaile - Organic Chemist, Flinders University

Dr Justin Gum - Consulting Exploration Geologist, Metalzoic

Please join us on Friday 5th March at the Rob Roy Hotel (106 Halifax Street, Adelaide). This event kicks off at 6:00 pm and will finish by approx. 7:30 pm. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
Event page:

SA One-Day Synthesis Symposium

The RACI SA branch synthesis group welcomes you to the out-of-session return to the annual synthesis symposium! The day will feature a range of graduate student talks, and we're delighted to announce two plenary speakers: 

     Prof. Kate Jolliffe (University of Sydney)
     Prof. Colin Raston (Flinders University)

Where: Kerr Grant Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus. 
When: Friday the 16th of April, 2021
Time: 9am for 9:30 start, until 5pm.

Cost: FREE, but registration essential, go to

Thanks to Scitek for generous sponsorship.
For more information contact Dr Thomas Fallon,

Previous Events


Global Breakfast Event

The SA RACI Women in Chemistry networking breakfast on Tuesday Feb 9th was one of over 320 events across 60 countries for the IUPAC 2021 Global Breakfast “Empowering Diversity in Science”.

About 70 people gathered at the spacious Allan Scott auditorium at UniSA North Terrace for beautiful individually-packaged breakfasts from FoodLore caterers and to hear from our panels of speakers hosted by event MC, Sally Plush. Others joined via Zoom from Kangaroo Island, Balaklava, NT and Malaysia for the presentations.  Attendees included high school students and teachers. Thank you to our amazing speakers, with their varied backgrounds in chemistry, for making the event a success.  Each speaker shared some of their career path and below is a brief overall message from their talk.

Keynote speaker, Prof Emily Hilder, Chief of Maritime Division, DST Group, spoke from Canberra via Zoom due to COVID19 travel restrictions. Her message was “Be the change”. We all have to speak up when we see prejudice or unfair treatment if we want to see change.  Sally Birch (CSIRO Mineral Resources) had the message of “Be flexible”. What you think is going to happen in your career will probably surprise you.  Speaker, Kellie Taylor from EP Analysis on Eyre Peninsula and speaking via Zoom, had the message “Why not do it?”. She started her own lab and followed her curiosity after starting out with a degree in nanotechnology.  Courtney de Vries, from UniSA Pharmaceutical Sciences had the message of “Resilience”. Everyone has set backs in their life and career but the key is bouncing back. 

Thank you to everyone who helped in organising a COVID-safe event for the 3rd annual Global Breakfast. Thank you to UniSA for the venue and to the Department of Defence and UniSA FII for their sponsorship allowing a free event for all.

Ula Alexander – Women in Chemistry Group Chairperson

STEM Pathways in Defence
Click on this Link for more information


Upcoming Careers Events

Careers Hack March – 6.30pm Thurs 11 March 2021 (AEDT)
Targeted towards job seekers of any age or stage in their career, come and listen to fellow RACI members receive advice from recruitment specialists. 
Register now
Intensive Careers Course and Workshop March 2021 – 12 - 20 March 2021 (AEDT)
This course is perfect for graduating students and early career scientists who are either actively looking for work, or intend to do so in the near future. Cost: $100 for RACI members and $200 for non-RACI members. Register now
Celebrating Success in Diversity – 6.30pm 18 March 2021 (AEDT)
More details coming shortly. Register now

Careers Thursday is proudly sponsored by DCS Technical, LCU Laboratories Credit Union and Envirolab

Environmental Laboratory Business For Sale

Exciting opportunity to buy a well-established, profitable, environmental services laboratory business, that is delivering in the current climate; servicing four regions of regional WA’s most sought-after and exciting areas – the Great Southern, South West, Mid-West, Southern Coastal. The business is regionally located in the southern part of Western Australia.

For more information please download the Information Sheet here. Genuine enquiries only to:

2021 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science
Help us find the next recipients!

Each year the Australian Government honours Australia’s scientists, innovators and science teachers through the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. Nominations are now open and close on 9 March 2021.
  • Leading Australian scientists who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge through science—for the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.
  • Innovators from both industry and the research sector who have translated scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact—for the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.
  • Early to mid-career scientists whose research is already making, or has potential to make, an impact on our lives—for the $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and the $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
  • Promising early to mid-career innovators from industry and the research sector whose work has the potential to enhance our economy through the translation of scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact—for the $50,000 Prize for New Innovators.
For more information about the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, including our downloadable nomination toolkit, visit
Save the date! Virtual IC21 6th - 8th July 2021

The Inorganic Division of the RACI will be holding a virtual IC21 meeting from the 6-8th July 2021. The meeting will be held over three days for approximately 4 hours per day from around 10:30am – 3:30pm (ACST). There will be opportunities for early and mid-career researchers to present, along with poster sessions and the Stranks Award of the RACI. The aim is to combine this meeting with face-to-face events in the various states in the same week. Please look out for the announcements in the coming weeks with details of abstract submission, Stranks Award nomination and more.

For more details please contact Chris Sumby

Want to contribute?

Do you know of any interesting stories or projects that are making a difference, or events that you would like to share with readers? If so, please email

The deadline for contributing to the next issue is 31 Mar 2021.

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