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National Youth Science Forum (NYSF)

Details Directorate: District Role

Project Leader: Allan McLean

Code: L2

Documented: Yes (JM, SS, LB, GT, NYSF website, District Directory etc)

Funds Required: Nil (NYSF or district fund selection day ???)

Project Team: 1

Total Hours pa: 60 ???

Member Involvement: 10 members x ½ day for the selection process; 15 members x 1 day hosting; other occasional support

Approved: Oct 2013

Status: Ongoing (since 1998?)




NYSF is a not-for-profit organisation based in Canberra with Rotary as the founding partner. The national program for students going into Year 12 promotes the study of science at tertiary level and the choice of science as a vocation. The flagship event is the January Forum involving two sessions in Canberra hosted by the Australian National University (and between 2010 and 2012, a third session in Perth, co-hosted by the Curtin University and The University of Western Australia). The January Forum includes sessions with top-flight science speakers, which is inspirational for students attending.


Allan McLean is the current Rotary District Chairperson for NYSF. This role has been held by a member for Heirisson for at least the last 15 years (previously Greg Thurston, Lucy Brooks, Judith Morrisey and Sheryl Sierkirka).


Heirisson’s role and criticality to success


·     The role of NYSF Rotary District Chairperson involves coordination of selection of students (typically 40+ applicants with 17 accepted from our District), organising panels of Rotarians for mock interviews, organising orientation (and previously, supporting the 2 week session in Perth, finding hosts in Perth for 140 students for the rest day) and administrative duties..

·     Heirisson members participate in the selection process (mock interviews), orientation, transport, catering and one day home hosting.

·     The Rotary District Chairperson role is critical to the success of the District’s role in NYSF. This role may not necessarily be held by a Heirisson member in the future.


Part of a strategic relationship or partnering/alliance?


Part of Rotary Australia’s strategic relationship with NYSF. Between 2010 and 2013 when NYSF had a WA session B in Perth (in collaboration with WA universities) Heirisson also took a key role in various social and other logistical activities recharging the Perth session (picnic lunches, Rotary mums and dads, aunts and uncles, weekend visits and keynote speaker nights etc).


What difference will the Project/Program make?


·     NYSF exposes participants to study, research and future employment opportunities and fosters knowledge of major national and global issues.

·     NYSF aims to nurture and encourage young Australians to be the next generation of leading scientists and engineers supporting a sustainable future for our nation.

·     Benefits link to the impact of scientific breakthroughs on mankind.


Other Benefits (Include sustainability of benefits, fun to do, recognition for Heirisson)


·     NYSF is a sustainable initiative with 30 years history and major funding partners. The Governor General is its Patron and Australia’s Chief Scientist is its President.

·     Involvement in NYSF activities in Perth is fun for Heirisson members, and with 10+ people involved in the selection process this becomes quite a fun group event.

·     Heirisson gains recognition within the Rotary District but not beyond. (The chairperson signs all communication as “NYSF Chairperson” with no reference to Heirisson.)