Episode One: Where Can STEM Take Me?

Like most things in life, careers don’t always have a clear and straightforward path. Meet Frances Separovic, who was from a poor migrant family, dropped out of uni for a while, but retained her curiosity and keenness to learn. Time jump to now, and she’s professor of a chemistry department. You just never really know what you are capable of, and sometimes you have to follow your nose and just take the opportunities as they happen.

Also in this episode: software engineering student Yu Ting Lin explains skin pigments in Reverse Engineering. Maybe one day outer space will be just another workplace destination - but before you reach the stars, you’ll need to STEM up.

Read the transcript


Guests that appear in this episode, include:

  • Dr Helen Wade, Marine ecologist and Homeward Bound participant
  • Dr Sarah Hanieh, Paediatrician working in global health and for Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Dr Theresa Jones, Ecologist who studies insects in exotic places around the world
  • Professor Frances Separovic, Deputy Director Bio21 Institute, and past Head of School of Chemistry,  University of Melbourne
  • Dr Amy Shepherd, Neuroscientist, works with WISE
  • Dr David Gonsalvez, Early Career Research Fellow at the NHMRC
  • Yu Ting Lin, Software engineering student

Links to supplement this podcast


  • Host and Producer: Buffy Gorrilla
  • Guest Host: Josh Cake
  • Supervising Co-producer: Dr Andi Horvath
  • Assistant producer: Silvi Vann-Wall
  • Additional editing support: Arch Cuthbertson