[ASC-media] unsung hero of south australian science
Donald Bramwell and Gail Fairlamb
gfairlamb at cobweb.com.au
Mon Aug 9 06:08:45 EST 2004
News Release - FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Adelaide - Monday 9th August 2004
UNSUNG HERO OF SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE 2004 named
ANZAAS [SA] announced today that the 2004 recipient of the Unsung Hero
of South Australian Science Award is Ms. Rona Sakko.
Ms. Sakko receives the award for her work in the promotion of science to
young people through the CSIRO Double Helix Club, an organisation that
brings real science to young people through regular events in their
area, be it metropolitan or remote country, in an understandable and
safe manner. Since 1999, when Ms Sakko took over the organisation in
South Australia, the club has grown from organising 56 science events a
year to 106 events in 2000, 172 events in 2001, 191 events in 2002 and
207 events in 2003.
This number of events is over half of all CSIRO Double Helix events run
throughout Australia, involving nearly 9000 young South Australians in
Ms Sakko organises workshops, excursions, science talks, career talks,
visits to industries and research locations. The club members (and their
families) really get a strong insight into "real science" as well as
enjoying the excitement and exhilaration of learning how science affects
their everyday lives. These programmes, which are often
oversubscribed, require considerable work and input from Ms Sakko
outside her normal working hours, a commitment that Ms Sakko has never
resiled from. Her enthusiasm for science and the long extra unpaid
hours she is willing to devote to bringing science to young people has
inspired a large network of people and scientists who are willing to
give up their time to help delivering talks, workshops, visits etc. To
reach remote and regional areas, Ms Sakko has promoted the
establishment of regional Double Helix groups in South Australia, and
she will often spend weeks ensuring that all communities have an equal
opportunity to access the programmes offered by the Double Helix Club.
The demand is seemingly insatiable: with up to 450 phone call bookings
for single event - on one occasion earlier this year, Ms Sakko
organised 17 sessions of one science excursion to fill the demand!
Ms Sakko's role in originating working experiments and models, and easy
to understand presentations which communicate the correct scientific
basis of every day life is of inestimable value. The award recognises
Ms Sakko's commitment to communicating science and furthering the
understanding of science in the community, particularly among the
young, the future of our nation.
Given the importance of science, and its applications through
technology, to the future well-being of South Australia, Ms Rona Sakko
is a worthy recipient of the award of Unsung Hero of South Australian
Science for 2004.
The award will be presented to Ms. Sakko by Professor David Boyd at
a Presentation Breakfast to be held at the South Australian Museum on
9th. August at 7.30am.
Previous winners of the Unsung Hero of South Australian Science award
Dr John Baxter;
Dr Karen Edyvane;
Dr Pamela Parker;
Mr John Mignone;
Associate Professor Keith Walker;
Associate Professor Gil Hollamby;
Mr Richard Daley
The Unsung Hero of South Australian Science Award 2004 is sponsored by
To interview Ms Sakko, please call Ms Jo Harris on 0414 298 300
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