IWD 2018: Bronwyn Duncan, NCWQ Bursary Recipient

To mark 2018 International Women’s Day, NCWQ is profiling an impressive women each day in the lead up to the 8th March. These featured young women are past NCWQ Bursary Recipients, and have demonstrated incredible leadership, success, community service, intelligence and commitment to their personal and professional passions. In today’s feature, past bursary recipient Bronwyn Duncan shares her thoughts.

To learn more about the bursary program, keep an eye on our website in the coming month or two.  

What were the benefits to you in being a 2017 NCWQ bursary recipient?

This award gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I felt for the first time like I was on the right path and it helped me to confirm that whilst I am pursuing a non-traditional field, I am doing well. It has opened my eyes to the incredible work done by women, often behind the scenes, and has made me aware of the role models that I have surrounding me. I have been able to save the money from the award to put towards travelling to Singapore for exchange, where I will be spending 6 months at the National University of Singapore. It has given me the confidence to pursue this adventure in my studies.

What are your goals for this year?

This year I have several key goals:

  • Attend the National University of Singapore for Semester 2, 2018. During this I aim to participate in both volunteering and an internship position, and to get a taste of the research field
  • I am the student’s logistics manager for the 2018 Brisbane spark engineering camp, and I aim through this role to inspire students with an educational disadvantage to push the boundaries of what they thought was possible, and to encourage them to pursue tertiary education. In particular, I want to focus on obtaining a higher percentage of female students, and encouraging more of them to apply to the camp
  • Continue working with Robogals in running robotics to inspire young women into STEM as well as advancing my own skills with robotics through my work with Somerville House as a robotics coach

What is your personal mantra or self-talk that you use to keep yourself on track in pursuing your aspirations?

I am a very goal driven person and love a challenge, so I will break by aspirations down into manageable steps. I love the quote “Life’s for the living, so live it, or you’re better off dead”, because it pushes me to live every moment that I can along the way. I also often use the tact of “who said I can’t? What’s in the way stopping me?” and I often like the drive of proving that I can, no matter what anyone says.

Who have been your most significant woman role models?

I always looked up to Marie Curie, who pushed the boundaries of science, and was the only person to ever receive two Nobel prizes. Another significant role model is Emma Watson, who has been very public about equality and rights. She has always stood tall and confident which is inspiring. More recently, I have developed role models within my life. My most significant role model is one of my physics tutors Sam, who inspired me by spending the time to help me understand what I was doing and building my confidence in the field, but also by being so passionate about her research. She has helped provide me with guidance along the way as well.

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