Australian Parliament House

23-24 October 2019

The SEC celebrated 20 years with a special two-day event at Australian Parliament House on 23-24 October. In total, 388 students from 7 primary and 7 high schools attended, with 54.6% female participation. The event was supported by partner organisations ARTC Inland Rail, the Sir William Tyree Foundation, and the STEM Industry School Partnerships - SISP Program. Emmaus Christian School took the honours with their primary and high school teams both topping the leaderboard!

Some 20 MPs and VIPs, including the Minister for Education Dan Tehan and UON Vice-Chancellor Prof Alex Zelinsky, made time to tour the eight STEM activities, engage with students and take part in our presentations. The SEC would like to thank speakers:

  • MP Andrew Laming - Chair of Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training
  • MP Dr Katie Allen
  • MP Alicia Payne
  • MP Steve Irons - Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships
  • Penny Nugent and Sarah Connolly - ARTC Inland Rail, who spoke of how each of the SEC activities closely aligned with IR work skills.

We are immensely thankful to all volunteers who travelled far and wide and support the event including representatives from ARTC Inland Rail staff, SISP, local universities, organisations and Rotary Clubs - Sapphire Coast, Southern Highlands, South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands and Newcastle.

The SEC is currently working to build a committee based in the ACT to ensure the Science and Engineering Challenge continues in the region as a truly national STEM initiative in 2020 and beyond. If you would like to be involved in the ACT, please contact Michael Cassey on (02) 4921 7319 or

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.