We must do all we can to support more diverse young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). That’s why we’re funding new high-tech spaces, and awarding a number of scholarships to diverse University of Melbourne students. We spoke with our 2021 scholarship recipients to find out what it means to them to pursue a career in STEM.

We’ve said before that attracting, training and retaining top technology talent in this country is vital. That remains the case, especially as we look to emerge from the pandemic to a vastly digitised economy with an increased reliance on STEM skills now and into the future.

To help tackle the skills shortage and widen the talent pipeline, we announced a partnership with the University of Melbourne, and other key education partners. We agreed to fund new facilities, partner on research and curriculum development, and place diverse students into important scholarships so they can pursue their studies.

The brand new Telstra Creator Space at Melbourne Connect gives students, start-ups and industry access to an onsite fabrication and prototyping facility, and will host innovation workshops, events and industry-based projects.

With the opening of the space, we checked in with our newest Telstra Technology and Innovation Scholarship recipients.

We’re actively enabling leading universities to give students learning opportunities and real work experience to widen the technology talent pipeline. And we’ll have more recipients soon, as we continue to award our placements with the University of Melbourne.

Recipients like Brigitte Shill can now attend the University of Melbourne from her regional hometown in Rosebud, and plans to use her placement in this course to “support other women in their pursuit of STEM careers”.

“I believe that those of us lucky enough to live and be educated in first-world societies have a responsibility to assist those with fewer opportunities and work towards solving the unintended consequences of industrialisation. I have chosen to pursue a career in engineering because it offers a platform to do this. My measure of success will be whether I am making a positive and meaningful contribution to the world,” Brigitte says.

The key theme all of our scholarship recipients share is the desire to change the world around them for the better. Nawshaba Ahmed believes she can wield technology for positive social change.

I chose a STEM career path because I truly believe technology, when used correctly, can solve so many of the world’s problems. I want to be part of the solution. I am excited to be part of the next generation of change,” Nawshaba says.

And she’s not the only one looking to change the world. Another scholarship recipient, Tara Mevissen, says that she wants to inspire others in a bid to diversify what it looks like to work in STEM.

“This opportunity is a foot in the door towards my dream career. These scholarships will bring together groups of passionate and likeminded students that will hopefully inspire more women and Indigenous people to pursue engineering and technology.

“They will become a part of the global movement to diversify the technology industryto improve the world as we know it,” Tara says.

The Telstra Technology and Innovation Scholarships are a great opportunity for students in Australia who have their sights on a career in STEM to fulfil their dreams.

Telstra is committed to helping young women to achieve their ambitions, toshine their light to inspire others. I’m looking forward to welcoming more women and Indigenous people into our scholarship cohort so we can diversify it for the future.