What was your motivation for entering the Science field?
Actually, my ambition was to become a practising psychologist. During my Honours year I had to complete a mini research project. I designed my own research study assessing the link between Theory of Mind and pretend play in children with autism. I enjoyed so much conducting my own clinical trial that when I received the highest mark in my Honours year I decided to change my career trajectory. Instead, after completing my Honours, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Neuropsychology at Swinburne University working on many nutraceutical clinical trials, before launching into a PhD. I never looked back.
What does your job involve, and what impact does your role have on the lifecycle of Swisse products?
I lead the H&H Research and Development team which includes Global Science Claims & Communication teams, Pre-clinical and Clinical trials team, Global Product Development teams (Biostime, Swisse, Dodie), and the Innovation and Governance team. In this role, I get to talk about R&D and innovation across many different forums. R&D is at the heart of our products and involved at various stages of the product development lifecycles: from product concept ideation through to providing scientific support to our sales team to communicate to our consumers and Health Care Professionals on the science behind our products.
Why would you recommend Swisse and the H&H Group as a workplace?
! It has never been a more exciting time to be part of R&D. We are growing at such rapid speed with many exciting projects to be working on. There really is that feeling that the world is our oyster and that we are going for it The company is injecting a lot into R&D as it truly believes that investing in research will drive innovation and create products that are disruptive and efficacious.
What has been your most memorable experience at Swisse and the H&H Group thus far?
I have many memorable experiences thus far. But probably ones that stands out the most are making sandwiches at our Swisse headquarters for homeless Melbournians. Swisse is involved in so many community helping initiatives. It is so inspiring to be part of an organisation that really tries to continually give back to the community. Another recent memorable experience was attending my first Biostime Institute Nutrition & Care (BINC) Symposium that was held in Suzhou China in March 2019. BINC is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting research and communications in the field of infant and maternal nutrition and care. This symposium brought together scientific experts from around the globe presenting on relevant topics, including updates on the research activities that the BINC funds to academics every year. Such a fantastic initiative that is.
Do you have any advice for women who are starting out in their Science careers?
From experience, if you know that academia is not the science career path for you, my advice would be to get a job in a large industry organisation. This exposes you to such diverse roles and knowledge that naturally you learn so much beyond a science education. Science gives such powerful skillsets that can be really extended to many exciting opportunities beyond the lab. Apply that scientific and creative mind and always think beyond the realm!