2015 Eureka Prizes Finalists

View this year's finalists.

Research & Innovation

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Research

  • Associate Professor David Beattie, University of South Australia
    Chemicals used in mineral processing can be a burden on the environment when uncontrolled release of waste water occurs. Associate Professor David Beattie’s research focuses on finding benign chemicals that can substitute for currently used harmful chemicals in mineral flotation, a common form of mineral processing in Australia. 

    Watch Associate Professor David Beattie's finalist video.
  • CSIRO Marine Debris Team, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship
    The CSIRO Marine Debris Team applied interdisciplinary research towards understanding the sources and distribution of marine debris, developing effective policy responses and integrating field and laboratory studies with oceanographic and ecological modelling to assess its impacts on wildlife. The team was able to translate scientific information into effective policy and behavioural change by combining research with citizen science, outreach to government and media engagement.

    Watch CSIRO Marine Debris Team's finalist video.
  • The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Team, University of New South Wales
    Professor David Keith and his team have developed the first global standard for assessing risks to ecosystems. Already illuminating risks to terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in Australia and overseas, this method is laying the foundations for better strategies for averting the collapse of threatened ecosystems worldwide.

    Watch the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Team's finalist video.

University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research

  • Biocode, University of Sydney; CSIRO; and Garvan Institute of Medical Research
    The BioCode project used ‘omics’ approaches to unravel, in unprecedented detail and clarity, the insulin/IGF1 signalling pathway that plays essential roles in health, obesity and diseases such as diabetes. The BioCode team have developed innovative analysis and visualisation methods that will benefit researchers in many areas of life science.

    Watch Biocode's finalist video.
  • The EVestigators, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre; Monash University; and Neural Diagnostics Pty Ltd
    Mental illness carries the highest societal cost-burden of all human-related disability. The EVestigators have significantly increased diagnostic accuracy to approximately 80 per cent by using objective bio-markers from their electrovestibulography technology alongside the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

    Watch EVestigators' finalist video.
  • Professor Dayong Jin, University of Technology Sydney; Macquarie University; and ARC Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics; Professor Tanya Monro, University of South Australia; University of Adelaide; and ARC Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics; and Professor Bradley Walsh, Minomic International Ltd and Macquarie University
    The diverse impact of Super Dots technologies – from non-invasive cancer diagnosis and rapid pathogen detection to invisible coding for authentication of pharmaceuticals, passports and banknotes – is based on advances in diverse fields: material chemistry, optical physics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, computational modelling and instrumentation engineering.

    Watch Professors Dayong Jin, Tanya Monro and Bradley Walsh's finalist video.

Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration

  • AREST CF, Telethon Kids Institute
    The Australian Respiratory Early Surveillance Team for Cystic Fibrosis (AREST CF) program is a world leader in the assessment, treatment and prevention of cystic fibrosis lung disease in children. The collaboration is acknowledged internationally as making significant progress in understanding the early pathobiology of cystic fibrosis lung disease. The team collaborates across Australia and New Zealand, the USA and Europe.

    Watch AREST CF's finalist video.
  • FANTOM5, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research; University of Queensland; University of New South Wales; Griffith University; and RIKEN Japan
    With 261 medical researchers and computational biologists from 20 countries, the FANTOM5 project has systematically investigated the sets of genes used in most cell types of the human body, and the genomic regions that determine where the genes are read from. The aim is to use this information to build transcriptional regulatory models for each human primary cell type.

    Watch FANTOM5's finalist video.
  • Professor Dacheng Tao, University of Technology Sydney
    Professor Dacheng Tao collaborates with an international network of academic and industry-based peers to help computers better interpret data captured from the real world. Together, the team has invented subspace learning models that meaningfully reduce the complexity of captured data. Their theoretical and algorithmic findings have diverse applications, from video surveillance to consumer electronics.

    Watch Professor Dacheng Tao's finalist video.

Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research

  • Dr Denisse Leyton, Australian National University; Dr Joel Selkrig, European Molecular Biology Laboratory; and Dr Hsin-Hui Shen and Professor Trevor Lithgow, Monash University
    The team’s research represents a significant leap forward in understanding the fundamental mechanisms by which key disease-causing molecules (autotransporters) are assembled in bacterial ‘superbugs’. Through this research, the team has discovered ways to interfere with the assembly process, depriving the superbugs of deadly molecular weaponry and leading to potential therapeutic applications including the prevention of antibiotic-resistant infections.

    Watch Drs Leyton, Selkrig, Shen and Professor Lithgow's finalist video.
  • Pellegrini and Ebert Team, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
    There is no cure for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Current therapies suppress HBV production but must be taken life-long. The Pellegrini and Ebert Team have developed the first therapy to eliminate HBV infected cells, resulting in clearance of the virus in pre-clinical models. The therapy has now entered clinical trials in Australia.

    Watch Pellegrini and Ebert Team's finalist video.

ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology

  • Associate Professor Kondo-François Aguey-Zinsou, University of New South Wales
    In its development from wood to coal to oil to electricity, ‘energy’ has been a driver of human evolution. Hydrogen is often thought of as a fuel only for the future, but by providing a readily accessible means for the adoption of hydrogen, Associate Professor Kondo-François Aguey-Zinsou’s Hy-Cycle has completely changed our understanding of this technology.

    Watch Associate Professor Kondo-François Aguey-Zinsou's finalist video.
  • Associate Professor Frank Bruno, Dr Martin Belusko and Dr Steven Tay, University of South Australia
    Associate Professor Frank Bruno and his team have combined a number of innovations to provide an inexpensive alternative for storing electricity to be used for cooling. These innovations include concepts such as dynamic melting, ’coil-in-tank’ and a low-cost storage medium, all of which can be integrated with renewable energy sources.

    Watch Professor Bruno, Drs Belusko and Tay's finalist video.
  • Dr Mark Keevers and Professor Martin Green, University of New South Wales
    Through the innovative use of existing solar cell technology, along with a custom dielectric bandpass filter, Dr Mark Keevers and Professor Martin Green have been able to ‘split’ a single beam of sunlight across two different types of solar cell to deliver the highest efficiency ever reported for converting sunlight into electricity.

    Watch Dr Keevers and Professor Green's finalist video.

Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher

  • Associate Professor Michael Biercuk, University of Sydney
    Associate Professor Michael Biercuk is internationally recognised for his outstanding contributions to one of the most exciting and impactful disciplines in modern physics: quantum science. He has built a record of transformative discoveries driving the development of a new generation of advanced technologies based on quantum physics, with important practical outcomes.

    Watch Associate Professor Michael Biercuk's finalist video.
  • Dr Lee Spitler, Macquarie University and Australian Astronomical Observatory
    Dr Lee Spitler uses some of the largest telescopes in the world to study galaxies near the edge of the observable universe. Dr Spitler’s research takes advantage of the finite speed of light to look billions of years back in time and discover what the universe was like when it was young.

    Watch Dr Lee Spitler's finalist video.
  • Dr Sue-Ann Watson, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University
    Fundamental to global ecosystems, marine invertebrates are threatened by ocean acidification, which affects the calcification of their skeletons. Dr Sue-Ann Watson’s research shows that ocean acidification also impairs invertebrate behaviour. Altered food-web interactions at near-future carbon dioxide levels could have far-reaching implications for ecosystems and seafood. However, understanding behavioural changes will inform the effective protection and management of marine resources.

    Watch Dr Sue-Ann Watson's finalist video.

Defence Science and Technology Group Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science for Safeguarding Australia

  • COPE, University of Queensland
    Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are one of the greatest threats faced by military personnel and homeland security. Detection of the vapours released by explosives is the best strategy for the identification of IEDs. The Centre for Organic Photonics & Electronics (COPE) team have developed ‘Arbsense’, a sensor for the rapid, selective and reliable detection of explosives for field use.

    Watch COPE's finalist video.
  • Associate Professor Charles Harb, University of New South Wales, Canberra
    Associate Professor Charles Harb has developed a cavity ring-down infra-red spectrometer that makes it possible to uniquely identify, in real time, a range of materials of security and defence interest. The spectrometer uses only the vapour from trace samples and does not alter the sample itself, preserving its integrity as evidence when required in a legal inquest.

    Watch Associate Professor Charles Harb's finalist video.
  • Northrop Grumman M5 Network Security
    The Secure Communications System developed by Northrop Grumman M5 Network Security in conjunction with the Australian Government remediates ageing secure communications capabilities. The system aims to build and overcome the challenge of extending classified networks into the mobile arena, improving usability for the end devices and maintaining secure communications.

    Watch Northrop Grumman M5 Network Security's finalist video.

Rural Research and Development Corporations Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation

  • FutureDairy, University of Sydney; Dairy Australia; NSW Department of Primary Industries; and DeLaval International AB
    FutureDairy’s robotic rotary – an international first co-developed by DeLaval and the University of Sydney – is the latest in automated milking systems. FutureDairy’s research on voluntary cow traffic allows cows in large-herd dairy farms in Australia to bring themselves from the pasture to the dairy and be milked by robots without human assistance.

    Watch FutureDairy's finalist video.
  • Professor Ben Oldroyd and Dr Nadine Chapman, University of Sydney
    Professor Ben Oldroyd and Dr Nadine Chapman have created the first reliable genetic test to identify Africanised ‘killer’ bees. The new test is critically important for the Australian agricultural industry, as it will allow Australia to import bee strains that are resistant to the Varroa mite, which is threatening our bees.

    Watch Professor Oldroyd and Dr Chapman's finalist video.
  • Professor David Raftos, Macquarie University
    Professor David Raftos works with the Australian oyster industry, finding solutions to increasing problems due to disease and environmental stress. Professor Raftos’ research has led to the most comprehensive understanding of disease resistance in oysters worldwide, with his team now implementing that knowledge in an innovative breeding program to produce disease-resistant, environmentally tolerant oysters.

    Watch Professor Raftos' finalist video.

University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Scientific Research

  • The Bee Team, Macquarie University and University of Sydney
    The Bee Team has identified a mechanism for the mysterious population collapses in bee hives that have impacted honey bees worldwide. Understanding the process of bee colony collapse is now yielding new methods to identify at-risk colonies and techniques to support bee populations for pollination and sustainable food production.

    The Bee Team's finalist video.
  • Professor Peter Currie, Phong Nguyen, Monash University; and Dr Georgina Hollway, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
    Professor Peter Currie and his team have identified, for the first time, a mechanism in the body that triggers hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) production. Unravelling the mystery of HSC generation could see it used to cure a range of blood disorders and immune diseases.

    Watch Professor Currie, Phong Nguyen and Dr Hollway's finalist video.
  • Professor Rick Shine AM, University of Sydney
    When cane toads invaded Professor Rick Shine's tropical study area 10 years ago, he set out to understand them. In the process, he has changed fundamental ideas about biological invasions, ecosystem resilience and the mechanisms of evolutionary change.

    Watch Professor Rick Shine AM's finalist video.


3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

  • Dr Rita Henderson, University of New South Wales
    Dr Rita Henderson is an emerging leader in water sustainability, both in Australia and internationally. Her world-class program of research – combined with leading advocacy, industry collaboration, organisation of symposia, outreach and influence on the discipline via professional associations – makes her an undoubted leader in water science for the 21st Century.

    Watch Dr Rita Henderson's finalist video.
  • Dr Sharath Sriram, RMIT University
    Dr Sharath Sriram is an emerging science leader with achievements in various facets of research including group leadership, facility management and science policy contributions. As Deputy Director of the RMIT Micro Nano Research Facility, Dr Sriram had a major role in the design, layout and functionality of the facility. He undertakes national level science advocacy for early career researchers and leads the way in communicating how the science of small devices can have a big impact.

    Watch Dr Sharath Sriram's finalist video.
  • Dr Phillip Urquijo, University of Melbourne
    Driven by his passion for fundamental research, Dr Phillip Urquijo leads the international Belle II experiment’s physics program and Australian teams to discover new physics phenomena. One of the youngest leaders in this field, his work galvanises over 500 physicists and shapes one of the world’s most important collider experiments.

    Watch Dr Phillip Urquijo's finalist video.

CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science

  • Professor Snow Barlow, University of Melbourne
    Agriculture in Australia will be profoundly impacted by climate change and, conversely, is a critical component of Australia’s climate change mitigation strategy. Through his research, advocacy and policy engagement, Professor Snow Barlow’s leadership has developed the science base to shape Australian agriculture’s responses to climate change.

    Watch Professor Snow Barlow's finalist video.
  • Rosie Hicks, Australian National Fabrication Facility
    Rosie Hicks is the CEO of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, which links 19 universities and CSIRO to create a national collaborative research network with over 550 tools. She has gathered the best of Australia’s fabrication expertise to deliver outstanding outcomes in a transformative area of science, technology and industry.

    Watch Rosie Hicks' finalist video.
  • Professor Michelle Simmons, University of New South Wales
    Professor Michelle Simmons' leadership and groundbreaking research program in the development of atomic scale electronics have positioned Australian researchers as world leaders in classical and quantum computing technologies in silicon. Her track record is exceptional and is the product of leading considerable multidisciplinary teams in Australia and internationally.

    Watch Professor Michelle Simmons' finalist video.

University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers

  • Professor Hugh Possingham, University of Queensland
    Leading by example, Professor Hugh Possingham's unrivalled research excellence and productivity inspires his students to aspire to—and frequently to achieve—the best possible results. His enthusiasm for his science is second only to his dedication to his students and fellows, and over the years many grateful researchers have felt the benefit of Professor Possingham’s commitment to helping their careers and their development as scientists and researchers.

    Watch Professor Hugh Possingham's finalist video.
  • Professor Marilyn Renfree AO, University of Melbourne
    Over three decades, Professor Marilyn Renfree has provided inspirational supervision and long-term career mentoring for young researchers, particularly for women working in the field of life sciences. Her passion for science has a profound, positive and enduring influence on young researchers, shaping the way they conduct themselves in their own careers and in their lives. Professor Renfree is genuinely committed to training and encouraging bright young minds, and her protégés are now making significant contributions to the science community both in Australia and overseas.

    Watch Professor Marilyn Renfree AO's finalist video.
  • Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher AO, University of Newcastle
    Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher has demonstrated an indisputable energy, passion and professional skill to the training and mentoring of public health researchers. He has supervised more than 50 PhD students to completion and award, many of whom have gone on to professorial and research leadership positions. He continues to make a substantial and valued contribution to the training and mentoring of the next generation of public health scientist practitioners.

    Watch Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher AO's finalist video.

Science Communication & Journalism

Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research

  • Associate Professor Darren Curnoe, University of New South Wales
    Associate Professor Darren Curnoe challenges how we think about human evolution, forging innovative ways to meet strong public desire for accurate knowledge about our past. From films to regular radio interviews, articles in The Conversation and ABC Science and in public talks, Associate Professor Curnoe is central in shaping community understanding of ‘How did we get here?’.

    Watch Associate Professor Darren Curnoe's finalist video.
  • Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
    Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith is a dynamic communicator bringing to life astronomy and its real-world impacts, particularly for girls and Indigenous Australian students. It is the strong engagement Dr Harvey-Smith fosters with schools, institutions and her audience that sets her outreach apart. Her day job is Project Scientist with CSIRO’s newest radio telescope.

    Watch Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith's finalist video.
  • Professor Emma Johnston, University of New South Wales
    Professor Emma Johnston is a leading authority in the field of coastal ecology. Through a broad range of influential leadership, outreach and advocacy initiatives – from internationally broadcast television series to grass-roots community activities – Professor Johnston has been instrumental in promoting research and greater understanding of Australia’s fragile coastline.

    Watch Professor Emma Johnston's finalist video.

Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Science Journalism

  • Dr Elizabeth Finkel, Cosmos Magazine
    Male and over 50? Take statins to stave off heart attacks and strokes, say health authorities in the UK and USA. It may sound like a harmless bit of medical advice but it has triggered open warfare among doctors and journalists. A Statin a Day provided a major journalistic challenge in the adjudication between different camps.
    Published in Cosmos Magazine, 29 December 2014

    Watch Dr Elizabeth Finkel's finalist video.
  • Gut Reaction Team, ABC TV’s Catalyst
    Gut Reaction is a two-part ABC TV Catalyst documentary examining cutting-edge revolutionary research into the connection between many Western diseases, gut bacteria and diet. The documentary is important because it gives wide public attention to a topic that potentially will have an enormous impact on public health.
    Broadcast on ABC TV’s Catalyst, 14 and 21 August 2014

    Watch Gut Reaction Team's finalist video.
  • Tosca Looby and Sally Ingleton, 360 Degree Films
    The Great Australian Fly, by Tosca Looby, writer/director, and Sally Ingleton, producer, chronicles how a national nuisance helped shape Australia. The battle to zap flies has created an entire pesticide industry and kept scientists busy for decades. But the fly has also influenced everything from fashion to farming and food – it’s more than just a pest.
    Broadcast on ABC TV, 7 April 2015

    Watch Tosca Looby and Sally Ingleton's finalist video.

New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography

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  • Soft Coral, Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum
    Soft corals are more diverse and widespread than hard corals, but much less is known about their overall contribution to coral reef biodiversity. About one-third of the world's soft coral species are found on the Great Barrier Reef, with our limited knowledge of these species an indication of how much we still have to learn. Through his beautiful image, Gary Cranitch highlights this true ‘indicator’ species.

    Watch Gary Cranitch's finalist video.
  • Thorny-Headed Worm, Aileen Elliot, Murdoch University
    Seeing amazing life forms, such as this thorny-headed worm (phylum Acanthocephala), has the power to turn a mundane day in the lab into one of sheer brilliance. While dissecting a bland peritoneal cyst from an Eel Tailed Catfish, Tandanus tropicanus, Aileen Elliot was surprised when out popped this incredible little worm. With this image, Aileen gets to share her modern day Darwinian moments of discovery with others and hopes to excite and inspire the next generation of budding parasitologists.

    Watch Aileen Elliot's finalist video.
  • Saltwater Crocodile, Justin Gilligan
    Exploring the coral reefs of Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea is like being caught in a literal time warp, where the hours pass by like fleeting moments. For Justin Gilligan, this juvenile saltwater crocodile presented the perfect opportunity for a close encounter on a glistening natural stage. When taking this stunning image, Justin focused on the raised eyes and nostrils and the camouflaged skin – all adaptions this crocodile needs to live a life both above and below the water surface.

    Watch Justin Gilligan's finalist video.
Highly Commended
  • In Search of Memory, Dr Victor Anggono, University of Queensland
    Understanding the molecular mechanism of neuronal communication is one of the outstanding questions in modern neuroscience. Disruption in this fundamental process is often associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Victor Anggono’s photograph depicts developing nerve cells (neurons) extending their processes, known as axons, and projecting to one another to establish synaptic connections. The ability of neurons to modulate the strength of their connectivity within a neural circuit, termed synaptic plasticity, has long been postulated as a cellular correlate of learning and memory and is essential for normal brain function.

  • Looking Without Seeing, James Dorey
    The primary, forward-facing, eyes of jumping spiders are among the most complex of the invertebrate world, with a structure allowing high resolution colour vision through an internal lens system capable of rotary and side-to-side movements. These two male garden jumping spiders, Opisthoncus parcedentatus (family Salticidae), have no idea the other is just millimetres away, as without a direct line of sight their senses often fail them. James Dorey took this single frame image during an undergraduate study on the prey preference of jumping spiders, in which vision was considered the primary determinant of prey choice.

  • The Vela Super Nova Remnant, Paul Haese
    The Vela Super Nova was probably seen by humans around 11,000 years as a new star. It would have been a significant event seen during daylight hours for those on the sunlit side of the planet. Now, however, it is just a faint accumulation of dust and gas, drifting in knots across a wide area of space in the constellation of Vela. Paul Haese’s spectacular image reminds us how important the Vela Super Nova Remnant has been, enabling researchers to better understand the life and death of a star and furthering knowledge of our universe.

  • Imperfect Focus, Associate Professor Harald Kleine, School of Engineering and IT, University of New South Wales
    Light can be focused to a single spot, but the focus of nonlinear waves, like shock waves, is always spread out so that the pressure and temperature amplification in the focal area is limited. Associate Professor Harald Kleine’s intriguing sequence of interferograms, taken in a single experiment with a high-speed camera, graphically illustrates this imperfect focusing. The coloured areas around the focus and the vortex structure seen in later frames are clear indicators of the energy that could not be brought to the focus.

  • Another planet: Epacris paludosa (Alpine Heath) Ericaceae, Seedy Volunteers, Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian National University
    Much like discovering another planet, imaging can reveal the intricate form of tiny plant seeds, and this idea inspired the Seedy Volunteers’ image. The National Seed Bank aims to store living seeds for tens to thousands of years for the conservation and research of native plants, and this seed (0.53 mm in length) is one of them. The image was taken with a FEI-Verios scanning electron microscope, then cropped, retouched and coloured.

  • A tiny parasitic wasp in dark Cape York amber, Geoff Thompson, Queensland Museum
    This focus-stacked image is of a tiny parasitic wasp caught in 10-20 million year old dark Cape York amber. A crack in the amber let air in and caused the beautiful silvering effect. Geoff Thompson’s image enabled an overseas expert to remotely identify the wasp as a new species in the genus Phanuromyia (family Platygastridae). Australian amber fossils were unknown until Cape York amber was discovered by Beth Norris in 2003. The 38 source images needed to produce this photograph were taken on a Visionary Digital imaging system at what was then its maximum magnification.

  • Prismatic Life, Sapphirina, Julian Uribe-Palomino, IMOS - CSIRO Plankton Team, Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship
    Sapphirina is the name given by science to this beautiful micro-crustacean (subclass Copepoda) which produces a metallic blue colouration when light strikes the animal’s body at a certain angle. This male specimen was collected near North Stradbroke Island in Queensland. Julian Uribe-Palomino’s striking image shows how the microscopic structure of the exoskeleton gives this animal the amazing ability to reflect light in a beautiful composition of colours.

School Science

University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize

Watch the videos

Primary School Category
  • Cry StoppersGeorgia (Gigi) Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, Qld
    Detectives Gigi and Ella believe that science is about understanding our world, answering questions and definitely having fun. Their film Cry Stoppers investigates why onions make us cry and gives us some practical tips to stop the tears when confronted with this kitchen culprit!

  • Why is Seaweed Brown? William Martin, Trinity Grammar Junior School, NSW
    Excited by the result of a class project, William was inspired to make his film Why is Seaweed Brown? Using a number of experiments, William demonstrates the properties of light, how plants need to absorb light to grow and how this happens in a limited light environment, thereby uncovering the hidden green of seaweed.

Secondary School Category
  • Gravity SucksTom Downie and Harry Bebbington, Warrandyte High School, Vic
    Tom and Harry explain gravity, what it is and what it does. Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and Newton’s force law are explained by this talented duo, who ‘rap’ it all up in their entertaining Gravity Sucks.

  • The Secret of the Appendix, Paige Bebee, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School, Vic
    Throughout history, human understanding of the appendix has been limited to the knowledge of painful inflammation that requires urgent surgery. In The Secret of the Appendix, Paige explains that the appendix does much more than we give it credit for, and is a vital component of a healthy gut. It’s time to spread the word about this misunderstood organ.

  • Why are Concussions Bad for You? Luke Cadorin-Taylor, St Aloysius' College, NSW
    Luke’s creative film Why are Concussions Bad for You? explores the serious topic of sports injuries to the brain. Using claymation, Luke describes the structure and function of the brain, and explains the potential consequences of a knock to the head, which can include injury, permanent brain damage or even death.

Highly Commended
Primary School Category
  • Stop the Freeze Please, Rosanna Cartwright and Olivia Stavrakis, PLC Sydney, NSW
  • Ugly Animals Are ImportantJasper and Griffin Chong, St Peter's Lutheran College, Indooroopilly, Qld
  • Coke & Mentos Geyser ExperimentJarroch Maywald, Penguin District School, Tas
  • Supercooled WaterJoseph Moynihan, St Augustine's College, Qld
  • Anxiety in Kids, Willamira Pedemont, Artarmon Public School, NSW
  • Bright Eyes, Selena ReadDominique de Souza and Gabriella Mancini, PLC Sydney, NSW
  • Sweet and SourKate Teesson and Michelle Hoffman, Lindfield Public School, NSW
  • How planes fly! Toby Trenwith, Virginia Primary School, SA
Secondary School Category
  • Synesthesia, Jacob Hoch, Sean Kelly, Reena Zelenkova and Will Stamp, Glen Eira College, Vic
  • Humoral Immunity, Salma Lakehal, Strathfield Girls High School, NSW
  • Fight or Flight Response, Georgia Marler, St Philip's Christian College, Waratah, NSW
  • Death of the Universe, Bailey Nugent, St Patrick's College, Qld
  • Evolution in Candy, Caitlin Piepke, Saint Andrew's Anglican College, Qld
  • Why am I a ranga? Zoe Williams, Devonport High School, Tas
  • Photosynthesis, Zaeema Zameel and Alia Zeidan, Strathfield Girls High School, NSW

Finalists' statements are based on information provided by the entrants.

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Vanessa Gardos , Manager, Education
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