11:30-12:00 An Outsider’s Optimism for Innovation in South Africa

Ms Rachel Rayner, South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement


An Outsider’s Optimism for Innovation in South Africa

Ms Rachel Rayner SAASTA

Rachel Rayner is a Science Communicator on assignment with Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) placed at the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA). Before moving to South Africa, she was at the Discovery Science and Technology Centre, Bendigo, Australia, where she designed and facilitated educational resources, activities, shows and events for students, teachers and visitors. She was twice selected, from an international pool of candidates, as a Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust, spending time on the E/V Nautilus to share the forefront of oceanic exploration with the world.Rachel has spent over seven years in science communication, including working at Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre in roles ranging from exhibition design, to creating innovation workshops, to producing virtual excursions via video conferencing technology. She has also traveled throughout Australia and Vietnam presenting exhibitions, shows and professional development workshops. Rachel has a keen interest in combining science and art, influenced by her Bachelor of Liberal Studies from the University of Sydney, where she majored in Physics and Art History. She carried this focus as part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus, a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication from the Australian National University.