Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO presented on a panel at the high-profile Careers for Net Zero campaign launch in Melbourne last Thursday. Other headline speakers included Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Atlassian Mike Cannon Brookes and Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allan.
Engineers Australia is supporting the Clean Energy Council and Energy Efficiency Council’s Careers for Net Zero campaign which calls on governments to secure Australia’s emissions reduction and workforce goals.
The Careers for Net Zero conference connected students, educators, policy makers and industry leaders to learn more about how their skills can make a difference in the transition to a clean economy.
Ms Madew presented on a panel alongside Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Energy and Resources and Martine Holberton, Senior Stakeholder Engagement from Tilt Renewables.
Chaired by Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council the panel discussed the skills needed to get Australia to net zero.
“Australia’s net-zero targets will only be achieved with sufficient engineering capacity and capability,” Ms Madew said.
“Engineers are the special ingredient in this whole discussion that we are having today. It is across the whole net zero transition that engineers are required to help with our national priorities of clean energy, infrastructure, AUKUS and many other priorities.”
Ms Madew highlighted the pressing need to increase the amount of women studying and working in engineering in Australia as one of the ways to boost the number of engineers necessary for the transition.
She also spoke of the need to have more school students engaging with and inspired by STEM subjects, particularly maths and science.
The panel discussed how many young people are passionate about acting on climate change, and that engineering is a pathway to making a difference.
“When we consider the children who are passionate about this, when they're at school, we need to show them what those opportunities are. There are wonderful initiatives happening around Australia to really attract kids into STEM careers,” Ms Madew said.
“We also need to look at our education sector and the way STEM is taught. It needs to be flexible and adaptable in order to attract and retain as many young people in the system and studying these subjects, whether that is in higher education or VET.”
In closing, the panel discussed the many different pathways into clean energy jobs and the plethora of opportunities open to those yet to study and those looking to make a career change.
“We are excited about engineering. It's such a fabulous career and there are so many different career options.” Ms Madew said.
Image from left to right shows, Luke Menzel, Romilly Madew, Martine Holberton and Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio.