New head of Questacon appointed
Sydney science and conservation leader Jo White has been appointed the Director of Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre.
Ms White, who takes up the role from 1 November, is currently Director of Science, Education and Conservation at the Australian Institute of Botanical Science, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.
For the past 10 years, Ms White has worked at a senior executive level leading science and conservation. She has extensive government experience, with more than 25 years’ operating at a senior level in the fields of science, strategy, conservation and environmental management.
Ms White currently also leads the National Herbarium of NSW, the Australian PlantBank, and Education and Engagement Centre at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Centre comprises more than 100 staff, 400 volunteers and $330 million worth of collection assets.
Passionate about bringing science to a broad audience, Ms White has overseen the establishment of the Education and Engagement Centre with a focus on STEM and First Nations knowledge.
Department of Industry, Science and Resources Secretary Meghan Quinn PSM said Ms White will join the department at a crucial time for boosting national engagement with science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“This appointment will build on Questacon’s strength and commitment to bringing the best of science and technology engagement to young Australians wherever they are, including in regional and remote communities,” Ms Quinn said.
“I know the Executive team and staff at this much-loved institution will warmly welcome Jo.”
“I once again wish to acknowledge the previous Director, Professor Graham Durant AM for his work leading the institution over 19 years, and thank him for his deep commitment to inspiring the next generation of young Australians.”
Questacon’s Deputy Directors, Dr Bobby Cerini and Ms Kate Driver, will continue leading Questacon until Ms White commences in November.