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The 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

18 October 2017

Joint media release with the Prime Minster, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognises the extraordinary contribution that Australia's scientists and science teachers make to our nation.

These awards celebrate excellence and innovation and offer us an opportunity to bring the entire industry together to celebrate Australia’s world leading role.

For the first time Australia’s most prestigious award for science, the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, was awarded to an individual woman, Professor Jenny Graves AO. Professor Graves has been recognised for her pioneering research into mammalian genome organisation and evolution which will enable us to better understand X and Y chromosomes, our immune system, and the human brain.

Professor Graves is a role model for all the young women we want to encourage to pursue education and careers in STEM.  

Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation for his work translating research on a protein in milk that strengthens and repairs teeth into new products that improve oral health. We congratulate all award winners on their hard work and dedication, and applaud the contribution they have made to innovation and industry in Australia.

The other Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science award winners announced this evening are:

  • Professor Jian Yang from The University of Queensland was awarded the $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year for creating tools to unravel the complex heritability of height, intelligence, obesity and schizophrenia.
  • Professor Dayong Jin from the University of Technology Sydney was awarded the $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for creating new ways to visualise the processes of life and creating low cost portable technologies for disease detection.
  • Mr Brett McKay from Kirrawee High School in Sydney was awarded the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools for inspiring his students with physics and science.
  • Mr Neil Bramsen from Mount Ousley Public School in Wollongong was awarded the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools for using science to enable learning across the curriculum.

Full citations, photos, videos and overlay are available online: www.science.gov.au/pmscienceprizes

Media contacts:
Prime Minister’s Press Office 02 6277 7744
Minister Cash's office 02 6277 7320