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Rule Breakers

From Marie Curie to Ada Lovelace, women have been integral to the history of invention, research, and development in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. There are many strong women working in these areas here in Perth, and yet, all too often they are made invisible, or sometimes placed under enormous pressure, simply because of their gender.

Rule Breakers was a story collecting project focusing on women working in STEMM at Curtin University. The stories collected share the individual and unique stories and achievements of women in Perth. This collaboration aims to enlighten academics, fellow researchers, future students, and the general public, in order to value, recognise and herald the importance of these women.

This is our opportunity to celebrate the work of women in these areas, to share in their pursuit of excellence, and to listen to the important lessons they teach everyone no matter where we are.

Thank you to Curtin University, Athena SWAN, and our storytellers: Dr Zoe Bradfield, Prof Sonya Girdler, Dr Tanja Glusac, Dr Laura Machuca Suarez, Dr Brioni Moore, Prof Reena Tiwari.

"This journey of defiance, survival and return helped me in understanding the power that I gave to myself by rebelling against irrational rules."
"I was born and raised in Bosnia, but no, this is not that kind of story. It's not about the war."
'But it's more than that. It's also this philosophical underpinning of our profession whereby we're called to build this relationship and this working alliance with women and their families in order to empower them to get what they want out of this most fundamental of human experiences, which is creating more humans, giving birth, right?'
"In Colombia it matters whose daughter you are. I'm not the daughter of a rich mother and father. The way it goes traditionally in my home country is that it is expected for a woman to get married and stay at home raising a family, totally depending on their husbands financially."
'At this stage in my life I was a little bit skeptical as the rest of the world seemed to be telling me that my options were maybe to marry the minister's son or even better the son of the farmer next door because that would extend the family farming empire. I used to think that they were my viable options in life.'
"Within 15 minutes, the environment was completely different. The car park was empty. It was silent. There was not a single person around. The airport doors were closed and I was standing there all on my own. I had no telephone. I had no way of contacting my colleague. I was in a foreign country, in a place that I didn't know. I didn't know where to go and I just didn't know what to do."
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