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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
DEVELOPING THE NEW Everybody knows the clichés -- young people are our future, we need to nurture the next generation, we owe it to our children and their children to get things right. ey may be clichés, but they are also true. As the population ages, young people become an increasingly precious commodity. We simply can't a ord to let their talents go to waste. e Australian Government has responded to this reality by se ing ambitious targets to increase the number of young Australians with university degrees. We are also making it easier for young people to do serious research by doubling the number of postgraduate awards and increasing the stipend by more than 10 percent. en what? Many postgraduates will choose research as their vocation, and we have made that option more viable by creating Super Science Fellowships for early-career researchers and Future Fellowships for researchers in mid-career. Many more young people with research training will go into business, either starting their own companies, or injecting some esh thinking into established rms. Smaller companies of all ages can access business improvement and innovation services om Enterprise Connect, a network of advisers and collaborators that links rms to knowledge, skills and other resources across the innovation system. Researchers and entrepreneurs who want to turn their ideas into money-making products and services can also get help om Commercialisation Australia. It provides grants and loans that can be used to buy specialist services, engage experienced executives, prove concepts and undertake early- stage commercialisation activities. All rms that make a serious commitment to research and development stand to bene t om the Government's new R&D Tax Credit, but the emphasis once again is on supporting smaller rms, including those operated by young innovators. Companies turning over less than $20 million a year will be able to apply for a 45 percent credit on their R&D expenditure. If they are losing money, they can take it in cash. Larger rms, including international ones, can apply for a non-refundable 40 percent credit. e list could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. Innovation does not occur in a vacuum. Even the brightest and most creative young people can use a hand to acquire new skills, develop new ideas, and take their inventions and discoveries to the world. e Australian Government is here to lend that hand. SENATOR KIM CARR , Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research MIA WASIKOWSKA, 20 OCCUPATION: ACTRESS Five years ago, Mia Wasikowska threw away her ballet shoes in frustration that she was never going to make it as a dancer. This year, she is world cinema's "next big thing" with the title role in the Hollywood blockbuster Alice in Wonderland, opposite Johnny Depp. "To see someone who has such an amazing amount of fame yet lives a very normal, regular life with his family is inspiring," Wasikowska told Australian media when the film was released. It's a long way to come for the young actress from Canberra, but there have been some significant milestones along the way that hinted at what was to come. From local TV drama series All Saints, she soon found herself acting opposite the current James Bond, Daniel Craig, in Defiance, and then with Hilary Swank in Amelia. "I like getting jobs because I auditioned for them, because of my ability as opposed to my celebrity," she said. "I like my anonymity, that when I meet people they don't know me." Like Johnny Depp, Wasikowska also revels in "normal family" life. When not filming, she retreats to her family home in Canberra where she still has the same bedroom she grew up with. "Coming back to Canberra grounds me," she told Sydney's The Sunday Telegraph. "It connects me with the real world again, reminding me there's a sphere outside film- making and it's not all that people do and think about." From there it was to the UK, where she won a research position at the University of Southampton to study photonics and collected a fellowship from the Royal Society to help her continue her research. Headhunted to take up a position as the University of Adelaide's inaugural Chair of Photonics, where she is currently researching new kinds of optical fibre, she has been recognised as one of Australia's top ten brightest young minds by Cosmos magazine's "Bright Sparks" award. There is also a role at the new Australian branch of the Royal Institution in Adelaide, where she is one of 15 inaugural Bragg fellows spreading the message about science to the public. And in the meantime she is a mother of three, including having twin boys. "The chance to come back and start a research lab from scratch in an area like photonics, which can really make a difference, is really exciting," says Monro. "And I think it was important to do it in Australia because I take a real pride in showing that within a relatively short period of time we can do something absolutely world class. "I think the Australian culture makes for really good researchers because we not only have a great educational background, but we are really gung-ho about things as well." ❝ The Australian culture makes for good researchers because we are really gung-ho. ❞ Sam Mooy/Newspix