Sydney, 2 September 2021
Franklin Women is excited to announce their founder Dr Melina Georgousakis has been named one of the finalists of the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes in the category Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.
Considered the Oscars of Australian science the Eureka Prizes honour excellence across the areas of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science. The Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers specifically recognises individuals who have helped develop the next generation of Australia’s scientific researchers.
A research scientist herself, Dr Melina Georgousakis often mentors up and coming researchers who are navigating their journey within the health and medical research ecosystem, an experience which has inspired her to become an advocate for embedding mentoring within the sector.
‘When I was a PhD student I would dream of attending the Eureka Prizes so to now be recognised as a Finalist for the Outstanding Mentor of Young Researcher Award is a very surreal moment for me’ says Melina. ‘I am very proud to contribute to the mentoring culture within the sciences and to be able to witness how acts of mentorship can change someone’s career trajectory’
Melina is especially passionate about the role mentoring can play in addressing the under-representation of women within the health and medical research workforce. She founded Franklin Women in 2014 which under the guidance of a volunteer team has created opportunities for women to find mentors but also learn what mentoring is and how to go about it effectively.
Melina also introduced a professionally facilitated cross-organisational Mentoring Program through Franklin Women. In the past 5 years close to 20 organisations have participated, collectively supporting 330 of their high potential mid-career women and current leaders to go through the Program. The mix between one-on-one mentoring and workshops has meant that participation not only benefits individuals but also their teams and organisations.
‘I still notice the impact that participating in the Program has had on me and my own career,’ says Dr Michelle McDonald, Group Leader at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and a mentee in the 2018 Mentoring Program. ‘But the true impact goes beyond individual participants as each mentee and mentor go on to mentor many colleagues using a depth of understanding of the importance of valuing diversity and inclusivity. The flow on effect being a much-needed shift in the culture of our sector.’
The Franklin Women team warmly invites our community of members, Mentoring Program alumni and friends to join us at the virtual Awards Ceremony on Thursday 7th October 2021 where the winners for all Australian Museum Eureka Award categories will be announced. All the details and information on the Eureka Prize finalists can be found here. Congratulations to all.