Paliame and Leigh

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Paliame Palisah

Papua New Guinea
Master of Conservation Biology
Macquarie University, NSW

Paliame hopes to make a positive impact on Papua New Guinea’s ornamental horticulture industry from scientific and economic perspectives; ultimately protecting the country’s native flora. She has worked as a Nursery Supervisor at Port Moresby Nature Park, where she promoted the conservation of Papua New Guinea’s natural biodiversity.

When she returns home, Paliame hopes to challenge stereotypical beliefs around gender roles, leadership and success. She also wants to be a role model to other women by openly discussing topics typically seen as ‘taboo’.

Leigh Staas

Associate Director for Engagement and Research Partnerships, Centre for Smart Green Cities, Macquarie University, NSW

Leigh has worked in collaborative research development and management for 12 years, including extensively at the intersection between academia, government, and industry. She is an expert in developing and leading multidisciplinary research projects that solve real-world problems and is passionate about creating smarter, greener, more liveable cities.

In her role as Associate Director for Engagement and Research Partnerships at Macquarie University’s Centre for Smart Green Cities, Leigh uses her expertise to identify, design and deliver user-centred research that will create impact at state and national levels.

She also designed an innovative model that underpinned the Biodiversity Node of the NSW Adaptation Research Hub, setting a new benchmark for end-user engagement and winning the 2017 BHERT Award for Outstanding Collaboration for National (Non-Economic) Benefit.