I’d like to welcome you all – and thank you for coming to share in this special celebration.
Questacon has a special place in our hearts as a nation.
One can hardly think of the broader Australian community engaging with science, technology, engineering and mathematics without Questacon coming into the equation.
This is an institution that has become synonymous with inspiring in young curious minds a love of science, technology, engineering and maths.
A well-loved cultural icon easily recognized as a place where science and technology meets the people in a way that is fun and practical.
Small wonder the parents who once interacted with Questacon as children, some 20 to 30 years ago, are also taking their own kids to experience its magic.
The interactive science shows, the science experiments, public exhibitions, teacher workshops, world-leading outreach programs and much more.
Freezing your shadow on a wall or seeing a presenter light their hands on fire may be a source of great fun.
But behind the vibe of Questacon’s shows are serious learning and inspirational messages.
Time spent with Questacon not only arouses curiosity and wonder, but can also create a ‘eureka’ moment.
It can spark a lifelong interest in STEM and lead to an exciting and fruitful career in science and technology.
Ultimately, this is what our investment in Questacon, and the investment by our partners, is all about.
Australia needs more of its young people to study STEM subjects and go on to take up STEM careers.
Questacon allows young Australians to imagine what a career in STEM might look like, urging them on to a future of many career possibilities vital for our nation.
Careers in computational science, astrophysics, medicine, agriculture, mining engineering and so on.
Science and technology has underpinned our development as a nation.
It’s enabled us to rise to the challenges of geographic isolation, a harsh environment and a unique geology.
Through research and innovation, we’ve developed technology tailored to our unique conditions.
And out of these STEM endeavours our industries have evolved—industries that are the envy of the world.
Including our successful agricultural industry, our world-leading resources sector, and our resilient manufacturing industry.
As new industries emerge and existing ones are transformed by digital technology, the importance of STEM skills for our economic prosperity will be greater.
About three-quarters of all future jobs are forecast to require STEM skills.
The Coalition Government is investing in encouraging more students, particularly girls and young women, to pursue studies and careers in STEM.
Questacon’s role in this work is essential.
Your achievements as a national institution that takes inspirational science programs to people across Australia have been extraordinary in the past 30 years.
That means three decades of outstanding contribution to Australian science and technology.
As the Minister for science and technology, I couldn’t be more proud of your achievements.
I want to thank the Government and business community of Japan for their support for Questacon.
I also thank all the past and present partners and everyone who has contributed to Questacon’s success.
In particular, the wonderful volunteer explainers and Questacon staff who help young Australians have big dreams about their future, and the confidence to turn those dreams into reality.
I’m sure the next 30 years will be an exciting period for Questacon.
My very best wishes to you.