Diversity in our ideas and our people is important – but more than that, it’s vital to foster viable career pathways that the best and brightest of the next generation want to pursue.
That’s why we’re connecting with young STEM students and leaders – the innovators who will shape the world’s technical, social, and commercial future. We’re also leading the way when it comes to improving gender equality in energy.
Creating our technology future
AGL is a proud sponsor of South Australia’s largest STEM showcase, Ingenuity, which returned to the Adelaide Convention Centre for its sixth year last month.
The University of Adelaide-presented event welcomes primary schools and high schools, industry, government, and the general public to engage with students as they showcase study projects, information displays, and achievements in STEM.
AGL’s General Manager Technical Services, Barry Millar, is a passionate advocate for supporting the next generation of tech leaders. Initiatives like Ingenuity, he says, provide a pivotal platform to showcase our young and innovative STEM leaders.
‘We’re committed to partnering with universities and sponsoring events like Ingenuity, because we can see the cutting-edge research that’s emerging,’ he said.
‘We want to support the next generation to deploy these exciting technologies.’
Our people were also heavily involved in the Women in STEM Lounge, which afforded female students the opportunity to chat to industry leaders about what it’s like to have a career in STEM.
For Sally Ugar, an electrical engineer at AGL, this offered a great opportunity to share her experience working across AGL’s gas and renewable assets.
‘When I asked the students what they thought I did for work, most of them answered “construction tradesperson” – which really surprised me,’ she said.
‘I was in my hi-vis, of course, but I think this really highlights the need for us to continue to grow opportunities for female engineers – and also to establish wider public representation of the power generation industry in the lives of young people.
Powering interest in energy
One way we can achieve this broader representation in the energy industry is through introducing tailored education programs, like the Girls in Energy program, which help to engage young women in STEM-related fields from an early age.
The Girls in Energy program, delivered in partnership with Girl Geek Academy, is a series of workshops designed to teach girls in grades 4-6 about energy in a fun and engaging way, and encourage them to explore future careers in STEM.
Following the success of the first set of workshops earlier this year at AGL’s Sydney and Melbourne offices, we’re now bringing the Girls in Energy program to the communities in which we operate. One of the first workshops was held earlier this month at Liddiard Road Primary School in Traralgon in the Latrobe Valley, where AGL Loy Yang’s power station and mine is located.
More than 20 students attended the workshop, taking part in theory lessons and practical experiments.
AGL Loy Yang’s General Manager, Nigel Browne, described it as a huge success.
‘I’m thrilled to know that a course like this is being used to spread the word about energy in a region where it plays such an important role,’ he said.
AGL and Girl Geek Academy will be travelling to primary schools in regional and metropolitan locations, in Victoria and New South Wales, over the rest of term four to deliver these full-day workshops in communities surrounding our AGL assets.