UWA Fogarty Scholar Caleb Adams Reflects on Milo Mission Academy for Luna Exploration 

In the evolving landscape of space exploration, opportunities for hands-on learning and insight are invaluable. Recently, Caleb Adams, a UWA Fogarty Scholar, had the opportunity to participate in the Milo Mission Academy for Luna Exploration. Sponsored by AROSE, this Academy is designed for college, university, and early career participants from Australia and New Zealand. It is a 12-week STEM workforce development program offered virtually, enabling geographically diverse students to fully participate, regardless of their location. 

Led by Arizona State University’s (ASU) School of Earth and Space Exploration, the Milo Mission Academy offers a unique platform for aspiring space enthusiasts to delve into the dynamic realm of space science. The academy provides participants with a hands-on, deep-dive understanding of the space mission life cycle. This team-based experience helps participants gain knowledge about the needs of the space sector and learn the practices, protocols, and procedures required to operate within a space environment. The skills gained through this academy are foundational workforce skills transferable across many Earth-based sectors, including Energy, Resources, Defence, Communications/Tech, and Advanced Manufacturing. 

In a recent interview, Caleb shared his thoughts, “Participating in the Milo Mission Academy was a transformative experience. It provided me with practical insights into the complexities of space exploration, something that’s hard to come by through traditional coursework alone.” 

Reflecting on his 12-week participation in the project, Caleb emphasised the hands-on learning approach offered by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. “The Milo Mission Academy provides a remarkable opportunity to gain practical insights into the complexities of space exploration,” Caleb stated. “The course is designed to be accessible to everyone, with a hands-on approach that truly sets this program apart.” 

When asked about the highlights of the experience, Caleb spoke passionately about the depth of knowledge he acquired during the program. “One of the most remarkable aspects was the opportunity to work on real-world projects. For instance, we developed a comprehensive high-quality NASA-style document for an upcoming mission. This project allowed us to apply our engineering, teamwork, and leadership skills in a practical setting.” Another of these real-world projects Caleb participated in was the Mission Concept Review (MCR). ‘It was incredibly rewarding to see our ideas take shape and understand how they could fit into the space exploration ecosystem,” Caleb shared. 

The most significant piece of knowledge Caleb acquired during the Academy was the importance of systems thinking in space missions. “Understanding how different components of a mission interact and depend on each other was incredibly insightful. This high-level view is essential for the successful planning and execution of space projects,” he explained. 

The Milo Mission Academy is structured to offer a blend of online lectures, interactive sessions, and collaborative projects. Lectures are delivered by leading experts in space science and technology, providing a comprehensive curriculum that covers both theoretical and practical aspects of space exploration. Caleb noted, “One of the highlights of the Academy is the total immersion in creating NASA-style deliverables with the support of industry leaders and group mentors to guide the experience.” Caleb also appreciated this collaborative and flexible nature of the Academy, emphasising the perspectives brought by presenters from diverse fields. “Being part of a community of like-minded individuals, all driven by a shared passion for space exploration, was truly inspiring,” he noted. “The discussions and exchanges of ideas fostered a dynamic learning environment that encouraged innovation and collaboration’’. Moreover, working solely online taught Caleb how to operate effectively with others even without face-to-face contact. “I enjoyed how this online environment blended independent working with collaboration to deliver high-quality deliverables throughout the Academy,” he said. 

The use of this highly interactive and project-based approach is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of space exploration. Caleb elaborated, “We worked on long-term projects at the same time as completing smaller skill modules and watching theory-based live lectures. I particularly valued working on these longer deliverables, with smaller bite-sized online learning modules dispersed throughout the Academy to provide a comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge of how the space industry works.”  

When asked what advice he would give to someone considering joining the Milo Mission Academy, Caleb was enthusiastic. “My advice to someone considering joining the MILO Mission Academy is to fully embrace the opportunity. Be prepared to engage deeply with the learning material provided, collaborate with your peers, and take initiative in your learning. This program is a unique chance to gain hands-on experience and make meaningful connections in the field of space science. I would encourage anyone curious about the space sector to apply for the Academy.’’ 

Looking ahead, Caleb expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Milo Mission Academy and his excitement for the future of space exploration. “The knowledge and skills I gained from this experience will undoubtedly shape my journey in the field of space science,” he said.  Participating in the MILO Mission Academy has solidified Caleb’s ambition to work in the space sector.  “I am eager to apply what I’ve learned and contribute to the ongoing efforts to explore and understand our universe.”  It has inspired him to focus on the development of technologies that can make a significant impact on sustainability and national security.  

“The experience has also reinforced my commitment to contribute to space policy discussions and advocate for the advancement of the aerospace industry and space sector in Australia,” Caleb added. 

Caleb envisions applying what he has learned to advance the integration of near-space and unmanned aerial systems into Australia’s response to climate change and national security discussions. “These technologies have already proven their economic benefits in other parts of the world, and I aim to bring these advantages to Australia. By contributing to the development and implementation of these systems, I hope to enhance the sustainability and prosperity of our community, ultimately making a lasting impact on the future of space exploration,” he stated. 

The Fogarty Foundation is excited by advancements taking place in Australia’s space sector. Initiatives like the Milo Mission Academy serve as a vital link, facilitating the transition of tertiary students and early-stage career professionals who are aspiring to pursue careers or research projects in space-related fields. Engaging in exploration and broader interaction with the galaxy holds promise for benefiting all on Earth. 

The Milo Mission Academy is delivered exclusively in Australia and NZ by AROSE and offered annually at the start of a calendar year.  To learn more, visit AROSE here. 

Empowering Schools: Fogarty EDvance in 2024 

As the year progresses, the Fogarty Foundation is pleased to share an update on Fogarty EDvance, a program established by the Foundation in 2012 to support schools in challenging communities.  To date, EDvance has worked with 148 schools and over 500 school leaders across 11 cohorts and are preparing to recruit its 12th cohort. The program, now delivered by Knowledge Society, sees a pathway to educational equity in WA to significantly improve student outcomes for students. 

In 2024, Fogarty EDvance continues to empower educators through utilising evidence-based content to improve the capabilities of school leadership teams. This commitment is crucial due to the ongoing educational divide in low socio-economic communities.  In addition to the core three-year program, EDvance continues to offer valuable additional components including the Middle Leaders Program, the Instructional Adviser Model and the annual EDvance Teaching Intensives. 

The seventh cohort of EDvance schools successfully completed the program in 2022. These Cohort 7 schools experienced a challenging three years of delivering education, with several phases of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in disruption to learning, staffing and wellbeing. Their resilience and commitment to student growth needs to be acknowledged. The recently released Cohort 7 Impact Report highlights the effectiveness of these schools in challenging circumstances and showcases a positive impact on school leadership and educational outcomes.   

As 2024 progresses, Fogarty EDvance remains dedicated to driving improvements in the Western Australian educational landscape, supporting the state’s goal of quality teaching for all. By empowering educators and fostering positive learning environments, the program continues to play a crucial role in building the capacity of school leadership teams and enhancing student outcomes. 

Read more about EDvance – and access the latest impact report – here

One young West Australian’s journey from Harvey to Stanford 

Justin Kruger, a UWA Fogarty Alumni, has recently won the Ballhaus Prize for best PhD thesis as part of the 2024 graduating class at Stanford University studying Aeronautics and Astronautics. It is titled “Flight Algorithms for Autonomous Tracking and Navigation of Distributed Space Systems Using Inter-Satellite Bearing Angles.” (in less academic words, how to navigate multiple spacecraft using cameras) We had the privilege of catching up with Justin and finding out how a boy from the south west of Western Australia ended up at Stanford University, researching Space! 

Kruger’s fascination with space began early, perhaps sparked by delving into classic sci-fi tales like Star Wars during his childhood. Originally from Harvey, a rural area in Western Australia, Justin became a UWA Fogarty Scholar when he commenced his undergraduate studies in Engineering (Mechatronics) in 2015 and in Science (Physics) in 2016 at the University of Western Australia. Despite the challenges of launching a space-related career in Australia at the time, he persevered with his interests and forged an exciting pathway. Throughout his academic pursuits, his passion for space exploration remained steadfast, leading him to seize opportunities for industry exposure, including an internship at ANU. 

Driven by his desire to contribute to the field of space technology, Kruger sought academic avenues abroad, eventually securing admission to Stanford University in California (completing a Masters in 2020 and then a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2024). His tenure at Stanford, spanning from his Masters to a Ph.D. and now as a post-doctoral researcher, has been marked by undertaking research and other collaborative efforts at the Space Rendezvous Laboratory. The Laboratory is the world’s foremost lab for multi-satellite systems, and they believe that advanced multi-satellite systems will help humanity address fundamental questions of space science, technology, exploration, and sustainability. 

Kruger’s doctoral thesis revolves around the concept of ‘distributed space systems’, advocating for the synergy of multiple spacecraft to accomplish objectives beyond the reach of individual units. Central to his research is the development of vision-based navigation algorithms, leveraging onboard cameras to facilitate autonomous position estimation and navigation. By addressing the inherent challenges of distance determination in vision-based systems, Kruger’s work seeks to unlock the potential of distributed space systems across various orbital and deep space environments.  

So, what does this mean in practice… (and to the layman!)? Justin explains this as ‘multiple spacecrafts interacting to achieve objectives impossible or difficult to achieve with a single spacecraft. We can relate this principle to – for example – humans interacting to pursue goals as a community’. 

Kruger’s research holds significance beyond academia, influencing the trajectory of space exploration and utilisation. Through the enhancement of navigation algorithms and their validation via programs like NASA Starling, Kruger seeks to facilitate various applications of his work with distributed space systems. Starling consists of four small spacecraft and is conducting the first demonstrations of autonomous vision-based navigation for a spacecraft swarm. You can track the positions of the Starling Spacecraft in real time. These applications focus on tasks such as lunar settlements, orbital debris monitoring, and satellite maintenance.  

Reflecting on his work, Kruger expresses, “Space technology is only growing more and more vital to both everyday life and our species’ future, and I’m extremely excited to be contributing to that journey.” His contributions underscore the evolving importance of space technology in both contemporary life and humanity’s long-term prospects. Mapping Earth from space facilitates monitoring of natural disasters like bushfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, enabling rapid assessment, damage identification, and coordinated rescue efforts, while also aiding ongoing environmental monitoring and resource management initiatives. 

Kruger, as a representative of Western Australia, stresses the significance of regional participation in space exploration initiatives. Emphasising WA’s strong capability in sectors such as mining, remote operations, and agriculture, he advocates for aligning our regional strengths with the dynamic landscape of space technology. He asserts, “The ongoing space ‘boom’ leaves enormous potential for a smaller region like WA to become a larger player. In doing so, we can maintain more home-grown industry knowledge, keep talented people in WA, and be closely involved in humanity’s next giant leap.” By nurturing local talent and fostering collaborations with international partners, regions like WA can establish itself as a key contributor to humanity’s pursuit of space exploration. 

What would Justin recommend for a young person in WA interested in working in space related fields? 

Kruger’s experiences provide lessons and guidance for budding STEM enthusiasts, stressing the importance of inner drive, embracing diverse opportunities, and teamwork. He urges young individuals to pursue their interests through research and to stay flexible in adapting to new fields. Kruger notes, “Almost anything you study can be usefully applied to a space project. Keep an eye out for chances to collaborate with like-minded people and you’ll almost definitely find the experiences you need to realise that dream.” Emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of STEM and its wide-ranging societal impacts, he encourages collaboration and partnerships as key ways to unlock opportunities in the realm of space exploration. 

For the next 1-2 years, Justin will continue working as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford. He has achieved significant success with the Starling mission, which has garnered considerable interest from NASA. Although the initial phase of the mission concluded in May, it has been extended until the end of 2025. During this time, Justin will develop new navigation software and conduct further experiments, with an increased emphasis on space situational awareness to enhance the tracking and management of objects in space for safety and sustainability. 

In the longer term, there is discussion about launching a second Starling mission around the Moon, which is an exciting prospect. Additionally, Justin aims to leverage his developments to contribute to an interplanetary science mission, such as deploying a swarm of spacecraft to explore another planet, and to participate in an Australian space mission. He hopes to achieve these goals through collaborations with local startups or the Australian Space Agency. 

Justin Kruger’s journey from his initial fascination with space to innovative research in autonomous tracking and navigation of distributed space systems showcases his proactive approach in forging a path into his career. His efforts not only drive forward space exploration but also underscore the substantial room for enhancement in providing WA’s students with greater access to space careers and opportunities.  Kruger’s advice to aspiring STEM enthusiasts highlights the value of intrinsic motivation, openness to diverse opportunities, and collaboration. 

Learn more about Justin or connect here! 

The Fogarty Literary Award 

The Foundation was delighted to attend the launch of The Skeleton House, the highly anticipated debut novel by Katherine Allum, the 2023 Fogarty Literary Award winner. Taking place at the City of Perth Library on 6th June, guests included literature enthusiasts, aspiring writers, and community members, making it an evening of engaging conversation and literary celebration. 

The Fogarty Foundation, in collaboration with Fremantle Press, supports emerging Western Australian writers through the biennial Fogarty Literary Award. Catering to young writers aged 18 to 35, the Award fosters emerging literary voices and the telling of unique West Australian stories. Katherine Allum’s exceptional manuscript, The Skeleton House, won the third Fogarty Literary Award in 2023. This included a publishing deal with Fremantle Press, culminating in the book’s recent release. 

Katherine Allum, an American-born writer based in Western Australia, overcame pandemic challenges to craft her novel. The story portrays the journey of Meg, a mother navigating independence in her seemingly flawless marriage. This narrative, rich with emotional depth and contemporary relevance, captivated the judges and earned Allum the award. At the launch event, Katherine Allum was joined by Louise Jones, Deputy Chair of Fremantle Press. Together, they delved into the themes and inspirations behind The Skeleton House, exploring the nuances of contemporary fiction and the intricate dynamics of family, marriage, and motherhood. Their discussion provided insights into Allum’s creative process and the compelling narrative of her debut work. 

Our Chairperson, Annie Fogarty, officially launched The Skeleton House during the event. Annie’s passion for literature and dedication to supporting young writers aligns perfectly with the Foundation’s mission to nurture creativity and intellectual growth. The Foundation is proud to highlight the importance of community and support in literary journeys. 

‘We believe that early education and literacy can unlock better outcomes for all West Australians, and that learning to read, and learning to love to read, sharing stories, understanding new perspectives, makes us a better, more connected and more responsible society.’  

Annie Fogarty AM 

Guests had the opportunity to purchase copies of The Skeleton House, courtesy of Boffins Books, one of Perth’s most beloved independent bookstores. This partnership ensured that attendees could take home a piece of this special evening and immerse themselves in Allum’s well-crafted story.  

For those who attended, the event was a wonderful opportunity to connect with the literary community and celebrate the voices that shape the WA literary landscape, including this significant milestone in the career of a promising new author. For those unable to make it, we recommend you get a copy of this wonderful book and enjoy Katherine’s work! 

The Skeleton House by Katherine Allum 

For the first In Conversation of the year, the UWA Fogarty Scholars participated in a unique experience during this year’s leadership series, titled “Leadership in Conversation: Court is in Session.” The formal courtroom setting provided an immersive backdrop for the Scholars to engage with esteemed legal professionals and explore the nuances of leadership within the law’s context. 

The choice of a courtroom as the venue for this year’s leadership series was intentional, creating an environment that fostered intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and an appreciation of the complexities of leadership within the legal sector. The halls of justice became a classroom, and our Scholars had the opportunity to witness firsthand the intersection of law and leadership. 

The event featured a panel of legal professionals sharing insights on leadership, overcoming challenges and the positives from working in the field. Judge Laurie Levy SC has served as a Judge since 2014, holding additional roles in the Children’s Court and the Supreme Court and more recently, as an educator to other judges. Thomas Coltrona, a 2014 UWA Fogarty Scholar, is an Associate at Bennett – Litigation and Commercial Law, also holding voluntary executive positions within legal organisations bodies. Adehlia Ebert, a 2015 UWA Fogarty Scholar, is a Law Graduate at the State Solicitor’s Office, with prior experience as a Judge’s Associate, who has also won a place as a Judge’s Associate at the High Court of Australia for 2025. Through engaging conversations, the Scholars gained insights into the challenges and responsibilities that come with leading in a domain where decisions have far-reaching consequences. 

Judge Levy succinctly encapsulated the essence of the panel discussion, noting that “What you see in the courtroom is real life,” highlighting the legal profession’s role within the community to aid those in need. This sentiment underscores the importance of recognising the genuine challenges and responsibilities within the profession. Ebert echoed this sentiment, expressing concern over modern – often negative – portrayals of lawyers, emphasising the commitment of legal professionals to the pursuit of justice above all else. When asked about the primary challenges confronting the legal sector, Judge Levy highlighted the emergence of AI as a significant concern. He noted that although AI is increasingly prevalent, it remains unreliable. Coltrona also emphasised the ethical dimensions surrounding the use – and potential misuse – of AI. He underscored the responsibility of the legal profession to confront ethical dilemmas and uphold legal standards; both in the past and with the emergence of these new tools. Furthermore, Coltrona noted the move by many of the larger firms to develop their own AI tools, due to the significant reduction in research-based and other workload they enable, thus leveraging potentially significant efficiency gains. 

The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session that provided Scholars with an opportunity to engage and seek advice from the attending professionals. Scholars were encouraged to pose insightful questions, delving into topics ranging from establishing themselves within the legal field to advice on achieving work life balance – and maintaining one’s wellbeing – in what can be a demanding career. Ebert shared her positive encounters with senior colleagues and recommended reaching out to them as a means to foster personal growth and confidence. This was reinforced by Judge Levy who said that part of the role of Senior Counsel is to provide advice and support to more junior lawyers, together with organisations such as WA based not for profit, the Piddington Society

The UWA Fogarty Scholars’ leadership series is designed to extend learning beyond a traditional setting. As the Scholars continue their academic journey, the lessons learned from these opportunities help to shape their perspectives on leadership and contribute to their future success in their various fields. 

We are pleased to share with you the 2024 Fogarty Report.

Enabling – and enhancing – Western Australia’s potential through education continues to be the driving focus of the Fogarty Foundation.  Our most recent Fogarty Report captures our activities and continuing impact in 2023 and our aims and partnerships in 2024. 

We look forward to continuing to raise educational aspirations and excellence throughout 2024, with a focus on: 

Next Generation Leaders: Empowering, extending and creating opportunities for high achieving and high potential young people, including through the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2023.

Excellent Teaching for all Students: Inspiring excellence and high-quality instruction in schools by investing in teachers, school leaders and school principals to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education. 

Future Ready Students: Catalysing innovation in education to ensure that today’s students are equipped with skills for the future. 

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Foundation & we look forward to connecting with you throughout 2024

Annie and Brett Fogarty

Grattan Institute Research 

Since its inception, the Fogerty Foundation has recognised the challenges confronting Australia’s – and Western Australia’s – education system. With over 800 schools dispersed across the state, a significant portion, if not all, are struggling to keep pace with the evolving demands of modern education. New research from the Grattan Institute sheds light on these challenges and shows how a different way of organising schools could help each meet the demands of modern education. 

This stark reality underscores a fundamental truth: the conventional approach of treating each school as an isolated ‘island’ is no longer viable. Operating individually, these schools lack the collective strength and resources necessary to navigate the complexities of contemporary education. They exist as separate entities, in a sea of challenges, many which are distant from effective collaborative networks or support systems which are enablers for improvement. 

In response, a paradigm shift is imperative. Grattan recommends we must move beyond ‘island’ schools and presents the concept of Multi-School Organisations (MSOs) as the answer. An MSO is a concept that aims to improve education outcomes by creating strong networks of schools. Introducing MSOs would help respond to the challenges facing WA’s schools. By uniting clusters of schools under unified leadership structures, MSOs provide the organisational coherence needed to drive meaningful change. They strike a balance between individual autonomy and centralised oversight, fostering collaboration, resource sharing, and collective problem-solving. The Grattan Institute’s research underscores the potential of MSOs as a catalyst for school improvement. By harnessing the collective strength of multiple schools, MSOs can leverage resources more effectively, share best practice, and provide targeted support where it is most needed. This collaborative approach is essential for breaking down barriers to progress and ensuring equitable access to quality education for all students in our state. 

Why is this new model worth contemplating? In research done in 2015, a long-standing member of our Board of Trustees, Emeritus Professor Bill Louden AM found that ‘stable, long-term leadership and explicit school improvement plans were aspects which high performing primary schools had in common’. It is hard to find an exceptional leader to stay long-term in every school in the state. MSOs could help. They give new principals a softer landing, and provide a secure leadership base, so positive transformations that begin under one principal are seen through under successive principals. 

In 2012 the Fogarty Foundation introduced Fogarty EDvance, a program dedicated to evidence-based professional development for school leadership teams and fostering connections among educators within cohorts. The primary goal was to cultivate a culture of learning and support, where school leaders could glean insights from one another and provide mutual assistance, whilst developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for whole school improvement. By participating in the Program, these groups offer each other a supportive framework wherein they can exchange knowledge, teaching methods, and confront challenges together. Fogarty EDvance, now comprising almost 150 schools from low socio-economic communities, indirectly incorporates many components of the MSO framework, enabling positive transformations – and improved educational outcomes – to be achieved in challenging school contexts.   

The Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program operates on the principle of being driven by the needs and contexts of individual schools and their leaders, ensuring adaptability and relevance. It empowers school leaders to review the evidence of their school’s effectiveness, to pinpoint effective practices and integrate them into their educational settings to address the issues identified, in order of priority. EDvance believes in the transformative power of strong leadership, recognising it as the linchpin for successful whole-school improvement strategies, particularly in fostering high-impact teaching practices. Through professional development and collaborative networks, the Program acts as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and greater effectiveness in education.  

However, while MSOs offer great promise, they are not an instant remedy. To realise their full potential, MSOs must be supported by robust regulatory frameworks and rigorous evaluation mechanisms. Governments, education authorities, and stakeholders must collaborate to establish mechanisms that hold MSOs fully accountable for their performance and ensure they deliver on their promise of improved outcomes for all students. These efforts should be supported by embedding the common provision of relevant services, allowing teachers and leaders to focus on their core responsibilities at the school site. 

The recommendations from the Grattan Institute underscore the importance of trialing Multi-School Organisations (MSOs) across different players in the education system; state, catholic and independent. We support the Grattan recommendation that trials should be led by state and territory governments, with funding and regulatory support from the federal government, as, with all significant reforms, a partnership approach will be needed. By embracing MSOs, Western Australia can nurture greater collaboration, innovation, and excellence, leveraging its high performing schools and leaders, to enhance educational outcomes for all students. 

The Fogarty Foundation is dedicated to ensuring all children get access to a high-quality, well-rounded education.  To that end, we are pleased to support students from schools in low socio-economic communities to participate in the educational component of Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach.

This initiative provides students with direct exposure to creativity in the sculptural arts, led by artists, which was well received given the enthusiastic involvement of the students in March. By enabling students to interact with public sculptures, the Education Program seeks to stimulate creativity and inspire, ideally laying the groundwork for future artistic endeavors.  As part of the Foundation’s first year of support for the program, 3 classes attended in total from North Balga Primary School and Nollamara Primary School participated in the School Education Program. 

‘This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with a wide variety of artistic materials and processes, in a magical setting. Thank you so much for allowing us to attend, through your generous funding, as we would otherwise have missed out.’ 

Nancy Thomas, Visual Art Teacher, North Balga Primary School 

Many students from low socioeconomic backgrounds have limited exposure to cultural experiences. The annual Sculpture by the Sea event at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach allows these students to access a world of artistic expression that might otherwise be beyond their reach. The Fogarty Foundation’s support ensures that financial constraints do not hinder their ability to partake in this enriching cultural experience, fostering a sense of inclusivity and helping to broaden horizons.  

So, why bother with the arts?  Approximately 73% of organisations surveyed in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Survey reported that creative thinking skills was a top priority for them when considering future talent needs, agreeing that this skill set is increasing in relevance and importance (Forbes, 2024). For the students we support, a visit to Sculpture by the Sea becomes a classroom without walls. The interactive workshops offered as part of the exhibition provide a unique learning experience. The Program is carefully designed to extend learning about art by exposing students to diverse artistic expression, encouraging critical thinking, and hopefully, developing a lifelong appreciation for the arts. 

For example, artist Mikaela Castledine eloquently conveyed this to the students when explaining that, although they wouldn’t leave with anything tangible in their hands, they would carry lasting impressions in their minds. 

‘Mikaela’s workshop was fun because it is good to try something different, and by doing it, I will remember it.’  

Han, Year 6 Student, North Balga Primary School 

Arts education is a cornerstone of developing well-rounded individuals who can navigate the complexities of the world.  By providing students with the tools to appreciate and engage with the arts, the Program contributes to the development of a generation that is both culturally and creatively aware. 

Established in 2003, the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program is one of Australia’s premier scholarship programs. It awards WA’s brightest and most committed students, scholarships for the entirety of their university degree.

The Program aims to strengthen our society by investing in exceptional young people who can use their skills and commitment to lead significant positive change in our community, state and nation. The Scholarship is a joint initiative between the Fogarty Foundation and the University of Western Australia and 2023 marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of this special partnership. 

The latest cohort of our exceptional scholars was welcomed at the annual UWA Fogarty Scholar’s Welcome Breakfast, held on 7th March 2024. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor David Sadler, set the tone with inspirational remarks based on his close involvement in, and support for, the Scholarship Program over the past seven years. He noted the growth and achievement he has seen fostered by the Scholarship over that time. 

A focal point of the Welcome Breakfast were the candid addresses by current UWA Fogarty Scholar Nicholas Ng and alumni Elizabeth Knight.  Both shared their experiences, challenges, and successes, offering invaluable advice on achieving a balance between academic pursuits and taking full advantage of life at university whilst also managing their well-being. Both speakers also provided real-world insights as to how to navigate the challenging transition from secondary school to university, as the new Scholars embark on their own leadership journeys.  

”The theme of my speech for today’s event centres around the amazing people in this room. It is what I have enjoyed the most about this Scholarship; the people and the excellent connections that I have made.”  

Nicholas Ng, UWA Fogarty Scholar    

In particular, Elizabeth and Head of Student Life, Lisa Goldacre, both encouraged the students to participate in the innovative new Wayfinder program, which has been established by Elizabeth’s organisation Purposeful, in collaboration with UWA. 

The new Scholars come from a number of different backgrounds and plan to study a diverse range of fields.   This year’s cohort includes three students from non-metro backgrounds, from as far apart as Geraldton in the northwest to Dalyellup and Esperance in the south.  Areas of study span disciplines from law and medicine to mechanical engineering, philosophy and behavioural sciences. 

Our full cohort for 2024 and their chosen fields of study are: 

Greta Bushell – Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) 

Matteo Conte – Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 

Eva Czislowski – Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability 

Elena Latchem – Bachelor of Biomedicine (Specialised) (Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice), with an Assured Pathway to Medicine 

Neemyana Lathia – Bachelor of Biomedicine (Specialised) (Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice), with an Assured Pathway to Medicine 

Greta Lynch – Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) with Assured Pathway to Juris Doctor 

Shreeya Naroth – Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours), double majoring in Microbiology & Immunology and Public Health 

India Newman – Doctor of Medicine via Bachelor of Biomedicine (Specialised) 

Travis Shearer – Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering 

Matthew Vinci – Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Economics, with an Assured Pathway to the Juris Doctor 

Zoe Wallin – Bachelor of Science Majoring in Psychology and Behavioural Sciences 

The 2024 cohort follows past Scholars and Alumni who have gone on to achieve great things in their field. The Foundation believes in the potential of these Scholars to illuminate new paths, question the status quo, and contribute meaningfully to society. Their journey is not just a personal one but a collective journey as they join the UWA Fogarty Scholars of the past and make meaningful lifelong connections (to meet all our Scholars and Alumni, click here). 

We extend our congratulations to the UWA Fogarty Scholars Class of 2024 and wish them well. The Foundation looks forward to witnessing the impact they will make, both within the academic realm and their Scholar community. The Welcome Breakfast set the stage for another year of achievement and growth as the Fogarty Foundation continues to proudly partner with UWA in supporting the young leaders of tomorrow. 

As advocates for a quality education no matter where a child lives in Western Australia, the Fogarty Foundation acknowledges that Australia has a literacy crisis. Given the importance of ensuring every child has the essential skills for success, we recognise the imperative of transforming the way reading is taught in our schools. The recent findings from the Grattan Institute’s report on reading abilities serve as a call for action, reaffirming the need for systemic reform that utilises evidence-based interventions. 

At the heart of Australia’s reading problem lies a decades-long debate over pedagogical approaches to teaching reading. The Foundation believes that the time for debate is over. The evidence is clear: the ‘whole-language’ approach, with its reliance on the notion that reading is a natural, unconscious process, falls short of meeting the diverse learning needs of our students. 

Instead, we advocate for the widespread adoption of the ‘structured literacy’ approach throughout our education system. Grounded in research and proven effectiveness, structured literacy places a strong emphasis on phonics instruction, decoding skills, and phonemic awareness. By equipping students with the foundational skills to sound out words and decode meaning, structured literacy lays the groundwork for reading success. 

However, it is also key to recognise that structured literacy is not merely about phonics; it encompasses a holistic approach to reading instruction. It emphasises vocabulary development, comprehension strategies, and fluency practice, fostering understanding of texts and nurturing a lifelong love for reading. This comprehensive approach ensures that students not only read proficiently but also engage critically with diverse texts across various disciplines. 

Grattan argues that, central to its vision for a reading revolution, is the establishment of a ‘Reading Guarantee’ – a six-step commitment to achieving reading proficiency for all Australian students: 

  1. Pledge that at least 90 per cent of Australian students will become proficient readers, setting ambitious yet achievable targets for educational excellence. 
  1. Provide educators with clear guidelines on evidence-based reading instruction, ensuring consistency and effectiveness in teaching practices. 
  1. Equip schools with high-quality curriculum materials and assessments, empowering teachers with the tools they need to deliver effective reading instruction. 
  1. Implement universal screening of students’ reading skills and provide targeted support for those in need, ensuring no child falls through the cracks. 
  1. Invest in teacher professional development and appoint Literacy Instructional Specialists in schools, building educators’ capacity to deliver high-quality reading instruction. 
  1. Mandate a nationally consistent Year 1 Phonics Screening Check and hold schools accountable for their performance in teaching students to read, driving continuous improvement in literacy outcomes. 

By implementing evidence-based reading instruction and committing to the Reading Guarantee, significant positive change can be achieved that will benefit generations to come. The Fogarty Foundation supports the findings of the Grattan Institute and welcome the level of public interest in the growing challenge facing our schools and the education sector. 

Let’s use this momentum to drive reform, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to unlock their potential through high quality, evidence-based, literacy instruction in West Australia’s schools.