My Australian Story: Dr Parwinder Kuar

For many university students and young professionals from diverse cultural backgrounds, the challenges of building a successful career in Australia can seem daunting, and perhaps insurmountable. 

Is “working hard and being passionate” good enough to help you find a dream job in a new country? New life, new path, new beginning… how can you achieve success in your career?

Dr Parwinder Kaur,  Director, DNA Zoo, shared her career journey as the featured guest in the fourth instalment of the My Australia Story conversation series.  

Dr Parwinder Kaur is a proud Indian-Australian award-winning scientist, a passionate leader and positive role model as a mother, and a professor in science for the next generation of diverse scientists to pursue their passion for science and discovery. She leads cross-disciplinary biotechnology research investigating Earth’s biodiversity and natural environments to ensure sustainable futures. She uses her expertise to reach people in new ways, connecting them with their surroundings. Through her diverse research teams, such as DNA Zoo Australia, she harnesses STEM to achieve maximised impact. In doing so, she believes this will help us tackle the bigger issues we as a society are facing, bringing about solutions through fresh thinking rather than following usual norms.]

Her noteworthy achievements include receiving the prestigious "Science and Innovation Award" from the Australian Academy of Sciences in 2013, winning Microsoft's AI for Earth award in 2019, being recognised as a finalist for WA Innovator of the Year in 2022, and earning the esteemed Australian Sikh Woman of the Year for Excellence in 2023. She has also been inducted into the WA Women Hall of Fame in 2023. Notably, Dr Kaur is an adept science communicator, an entrepreneur in the biotechnology sector, and an ardent advocate for gender equity.

Her influence extends to various awards and accolades, including being a Superstar of STEM, a winner of Women in Technology WA Tech+ Star in 2022, the recipient of the AmCham Alliance Award in Biotechnology in 2023, a finalist for Trend Setter of the Year, Global Finalist for Excellence in Partnerships, India Australia Business & Community Alliance 2024 and an ambassador for GirlsXTech internationally. In addition to being a Scientist, Dr Kaur currently also serves as one of three esteemed panel members for the Diversity in STEM task force with the Office of the Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science in Australia, working diligently to bridge the diversity gap in STEM. Additionally, she has been appointed as the Special Advisor by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science, and Innovation, Government of Western Australia, contributing to the development of the 10-year Science & Tech Plan.

Dr Kaur's Australia Story is a testament to the transformative power of curiosity, resilience, and unwavering belief. It illustrates that within life's complexity, simplicity prevails when we dare to explore, persist, and truly believe. 

My Australia Story is a face-to-face conversation series that provides a platform for remarkable people who have immigrated to Australia as first-generation to share their life and work experience with the public. Initiated by Associate Professor Maggie Jiang at the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia,  this initiative is proudly hosted by WA Museum Boola Bardip.

This is an image of the University of WA log. It has blue writing and th Universities crest displayed.

Audio file
Friday 3 May 2024

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