ARTD Analyst Holly Kovac was recently invited to speak at a Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy (YIWSA) National Assembly online. Holly is part of the ARTD team evaluating the Indigenous Girls STEM Academy, delivered by CSIRO in partnership with Career Trackers and the National Indigenous Australians Agency. YIWSA, the Student Initiative component of the Indigenous Girls STEM Academy, works to empower a generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female leaders, role models and game changers in STEM.
As an evaluation practitioner with close to four years’ experience at ARTD, and as a student of nursing at the University of Sydney, Holly has an obvious passion for her work. Her desire to create better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities shines bright, and the CSIRO team recognised her potential to inspire other young Indigenous women immediately.
Holly had plenty to share about her professional journey with young people looking towards a career in STEM, as well as her experiences of getting there by overcoming difficult life events.
Holly’s advice to the young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women at the Assembly looking towards careers in STEM? Your past doesn’t define you, but it can fuel you to do better. Follow your passion, Holly says, and you’ll never feel like you’re working. Drawing on her high-level experiences in sport, including playing AFL for the University of Sydney women’s team, Holly related the importance of discipline and focus to the audience of young women.
“We are all on different journeys and will all have our own experiences, but if you can channel those experiences into the effort you put into yourselves and your passions, that is what will take you far in life. “
Holly’s speech outlined how evaluation can be used to solve complex public policy issues. We know that evaluation is something that many people pursuing careers in science or social science stumble across by accident. We hope this gave the audience a taste of different STEM pathways that are open to them.
We’re extremely proud of all Holly has achieved at ARTD and are glad other young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women had the opportunity to hear her speak.