As we prepare to enter the second phase of post-pandemic life, I am working with my team to prepare for the secure future for the Foundation and the WA Museum. Our goal of raising funds through the Discovery Endowment Fund becomes even more important in what is being called the “neutral zone” and we are having to be increasingly more creative and innovative in our plans as we move forward. We have continued to work from home for the past 8 weeks on reduced days staying connected with each other and with you through Zoom meetings, social media channels and good old telephone conversations. It has enabled us to continue to contemplate new initiatives and fresh ideas for what is the beginning of the new normal. Although we are not “out of the woods” yet, we are certainly doing very well and it is good to feel positive about moving forward with many returning to their jobs, families feeling a more positive vibe and where we West Australians will get up and get going again.
So the show must go on, and this year’s FameLab Science Competition went entirely digital nationally and internationally. All the State Semi-Finals were conducted and judged in live-time, as well as the National Final which would normally have been held at the State Theatre Centre, Perth in front of an audience of 800 people. The FameLab National Winner this year is Cody Frear from The University of Queensland whose presentation ‘Out with the old, in with the Noo-Noo’ was a creative analogy using the Teletubbies’ vacuum cleaner character Noo-Noo, to explain how paediatric burn injuries can heal faster and reduce scarring using a ‘vacuum’. Cody will represent Australia at the International Famelab Science Competition at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in the United Kingdom in October.
Dr Madeleine Ferarri, from The University of Sydney was awarded Runner Up and Nisharnthi Duggan, also from The University of Sydney won the online Public Vote.
I must give full credit to our FameLab Team Melissa Callanan and Hannah Rule, who have done an incredible job of turning around a normally ‘live auditorium’ competition to a fully on-line competition: technically supported by Carly Willcox, the team spun the entire competition around in just 8 days! Well done Team FameLab! If you want to check out The FameLab 2020 Online Live Zoom presentations, they are live here.
Another shout-out is in order. I would like to thank a very long-term and very supportive partner in Santos (formerly Quadrant Energy) for their continued support throughout COVID-19. Their sponsorship of the Museum in a Container is a popular pop-up at many festivals and community events, but with so many events now postponed because of the pandemic, Santos is now able to support the community engagement activities of the WA Museum through its Distant Discoveries Program. To check it out please click here http://museum.wa.gov.au/distant-discoveries
So be assured, there’s lots going on behind the scenes and we are ready to return to the new norm as soon as possible. Please stay in touch with us through our website, email, social media channels or just call us: you are never far from our minds and rest assured we remain committed to you, our supporters and our fantastic New Museum.
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Good to touch base with you, keep safe and stay well. I’ll write again soon from my desk at home.