Olivia Carroll Wins FameLab Australia 2023

22 Sep 2023

Olivia Carroll, an immunologist and microbiologist representing the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, is the winner of the FameLab Australia 2023 science communication competition. CSIRO astrometallurgist Dr Matthew Shaw, and Curtin University’s neuroscientist Melissa Papini were named runners-up.

Yesterday’s Final took place at WA Museum Boola Bardip’s Hackett Hall in front of a near capacity-crowd and in the presence of The Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Science; Medical Research. The Final was also livestreamed across the globe.

The twelve finalists – early career researchers and up-and-coming science communicators from universities and research institutions across Australia – were required to communicate their research in simple, everyday language, and do it in just three minutes. Audiences enjoyed a highly entertaining night learning about cutting-edge research from around the country.  

 They were judged on the content, clarity, and charisma of their presentation by a judging panel featuring Dr Kat Doughty, Dr Paola Magni and Assoc. Prof. Jennifer McIlwain.

Olivia Carroll’s won over the judges with her talk “Tuning” into Our Hormones to Better Understand Asthma; Dr Matthew Shaw spoke about resource extraction (and house construction!) on the Moon in his talk Lunacy; and Melissa Papini repurposed nursery rhymes to explain her work on using biomarkers to track damage caused by concussion in her presentation Using Familiar Nursery Rhymes to Explain the Consequences of Concussion.

Olivia Carroll will go on to represent Australia in the international FameLab Final, which will be held online in November 2023, and wins a trip to the 2024 Cheltenham Science Festival.

Congratulations to all outstanding 2023 FameLab Finalists:

  • Caerwen Beaton – Curtin University
  • Olivia Carroll – University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • Olly Dove – University of Tasmania
  • Cintya Dharmayanti – University of South Australia
  • Tian Du – University of Sydney
  • Ashleigh Geiger – University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
  • Ryan Hickmott – Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Hannah Morgan – Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Melissa Papini – Curtin University
  • Dr Jodie Pestana – University of New South Wales
  • Dr Kelsey Pool – University of Western Australia
  • Dr Matthew Shaw – CSIRO

FameLab Australia Partners 

The Foundation for the WA Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Cheltenham Festivals and the FameLab Australia donors and partners Curtin University, the McCusker Charitable Foundation, Murdoch University, Western Australian Museum, Community Broadcasting Foundation, Forrest Research Foundation, Comm-it Communication Solutions with Science, and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.


To view our event photo gallery, please click HERE.

To view our finalist workshops gallery, please click HERE


About FameLab

FameLab is the world’s leading public-facing science communication competition and training program, created by Cheltenham Festivals (UK) in 2005. Since 2007, the competition has gone global in over 40 countries, with more than 40,000 scientists participating to date. FameLab is recognised as being a powerful means to identifying and nurturing new voices in science, with previous alumni embarking on high-profile careers in science communication and the media.   

The Foundation for the Western Australian Museum is the producer and country host organisation of FameLab Australia and its junior version, FameLab Academy. The focus of FameLab Australia is to promote excellence in science communication for early career STEM researchers in universities and industry. The competition is open to early career STEM researchers currently completing postgraduate studies or within five years of completing their postgraduate degrees.   

In 2023, the international FameLab Final will feature the country winners from Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand.