Award-winning inventor headlines FCM’s International Day of the Girl event

FOR International Day of the Girl 2021, FCM Meetings & Events has partnered with Australian charity SolarBuddy and not-for-profit Indigenous education organisation Yalari to champion educational and social change for young women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

The meetings and events specialists have revealed an inspirational line-up of speakers, entertainers, panellists, and performers at this year’s International Day of the Girl celebration, on 11 October.

MC for the afternoon is the all-round star performer, Gorgi Coghlan, who was once a regular co-host on Network Ten’s The Project and acclaimed singer, scientist, and schoolteacher.

Attendees will then be able to hear from the inspirational and globally award-winning inventor and scientist, Macinley Butson – an Australian 20-year-old STEM trailblazer.

“After reading the brief and understanding the purpose of the event I knew it aligned with what I’m trying to promote, getting young women into STEM education, it’s a real passion of mine and I was more than happy to jump onboard and support the event,” Ms Butson said.

“My own STEM journey started when I was very young – I was seven when I came up with my first invention – and I was never going to be stopped from achieving my goals just because I’m a woman, that thought never even crossed my mind.

It is, however, a factor that can put many girls and young women off chasing the industry – along with other stereotypes and barriers like mental health – but I want them to know that they can pursue their dreams successfully with all their hearts.

“Number four on the 17 sustainable development goals produced by the UN is ‘Quality Education’ and number seven is ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’ and the SolarBuddy lights that this event will purchase will make a genuine different for Indigenous communities.

“Light can have a tremendous impact by just giving a child the ability to study. We’ve seen the wider impacts of thousands of children being home-schooled during the pandemic in Australia, can you imagine how difficult it would be with no light and no power? It’s a basic human right to study.”

SolarBuddy General Manager Australia, Billie Murphy, Ruth Lee from The Origin Energy Foundation, and Michelle Degenhardt from the Flight Centre Foundation will then appear on a panel alongside former Australian soccer player and panel moderator Amy Chapman.

A Yalari Alumni member will also share their stories as part of a group discussion with Indigenous education organisation Yalari. 

Last year, FCM Meetings & Events, in partnership with SolarBuddy, produced the first International Day of the Girl event, ‘It's Now Girl’, which explored gender inequality, energy poverty, and access to education for young girls.

It raised over $10,000 for SolarBuddy lights, which were donated to disadvantaged communities. The event will take place between 3:00pm and 4:15pm (AEST) on Monday, 11 October 2021, and you can register for the event HERE.

Tickets for virtual guests are $38.50 (inc. GST). The ticket price for this event will go directly towards gifting SolarBuddy lights that will be distributed to a local Indigenous girl or family in need.

Macinley Butson is available for interview in the lead-up to and post the 'It’s Now Girl - Tomorrow's Generation, Today' event.

Macinley Butson is one of Australia’s foremost young inventors who devotes herself to improving the world through STEM and being an inspirational voice to youth and industry, urging them to work towards solutions for global challenges by asking big questions.

Internationally recognised for her scientific and engineering endeavours, Macinley has developed many devices which have aided humanity across several sectors including, cancer treatment, water sanitation and renewable energy.

Believing there is no better investment than in people, she equally fosters this curiosity in other students and industry motivating them as a role model and constantly encouraging exploration.

Recognised as one of Australia’s top young scientists, Macinley is a passionate ambassador for STEM education among girls and is a representative for the inclusion of younger generations. Alongside studying at university, she brings a personal understanding when speaking to students, encouraging the pursuit of STEM and their own curiosity.

Macinley is an international award-winning inventor, being the first Australian to place first at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Translational Medicine and, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize presented by the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. She still avidly invents, continuing to give back through her practical approach to research and product development.

Additionally, she is the co-founder of Passionately Curious, a not-for-profit which exists to provide students with equal access to STEM to improve the diversity of tomorrow’s STEM community, today.

Recognised as the 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year, she is a sought-after speaker for students and corporate audiences alike, providing a unique and fresh perspective by asking thought-provoking questions and challenging current perceptions by forging new paths.