Past Event

Future Forums: Sustainable Design and Wellbeing Beyond Earth

Presented by Museums Victoria


Sat 20 May 7:30pm - 8:30pm


Booking required


Scienceworks, Booker Street, Spotswood VIC, Australia


Accessible bathroom All gender bathroom Assistance animals welcome Auslan interpreted

Australia’s growing space industry is led by innovators with a vision to create a better and healthier future on and off earth. Industry experts and designers are collaborating to transform our future through projects such as lunar waste minimisation, space farming, and virtual reality, which promise positive long term impacts for the health and wellbeing of our planet and humanity.

Experience how design is vital to today’s growing Australian space ecosystem and leading to solutions for a more sustainable and thriving future.

This event takes place at Scienceworks and will be streamed online. Guests can choose to purchase a ticket to attend in person, or an online ticket to watch the live-stream. Before the panel discussion you have the options to attended a Planetarium show. Book with your ticket.


Virginia Kilborn, Chief Scientist, Swinburne University of Technology

Professor Virginia Kilborn is Swinburne’s inaugural Chief Scientist, working to further education, research, policy and equity at Swinburne and beyond. Virginia is also a radio astronomer with the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, where her research interests include tracing galaxy evolution by studying the neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies. She is surveying the sky with the next generation radio telescopes, such as the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the SKA in the future. Virginia undertook her PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, and following a post-doc at Jodrell Bank observatory in the UK, she returned to Melbourne to take up an ARC-CSIRO linkage fellowship at Swinburne

in 2003. Since then Virginia has held a number of different roles at Swinburne, including deputy director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Dean of Science. Virginia is a champion for equity and diversity, and is a co-founder of the WATTLE women in leadership program.

Professor Michelle Watt, Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany, University of Melbourne

Michelle uses imaging and sensor technologies in the field and lab with modelling to understand how roots function in the world’s increasingly dynamic climates, both on and off earth. The aim is to reduce impacts of agriculture on the environment while increasing farmer productivity by breeding and/or managing more resource efficient root-soil systems. Michelle has been involved with multi-partner projects with Australia, the USA, India, the Philippines, UK and Germany in the under-studied but critical area of plant roots and space farming.

Dr Kaja Antlej, Senior Lecturer, Industrial Design, Deakin University

Dr Kaja Antlej is a researcher working in the intersection of human space exploration, human-centered design, digital heritage and virtual museums, extended reality (XR), 3D printing, futures thinking and well-being. Kaja has obtained her BSc/MSc (2008) in Industrial Design and a PhD (2013) in Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of Ljubljana and is currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design and CADET Virtual Reality Lab Researcher – Museums/Heritage at the School of Engineering, Deakin University

Sara James, National Strategy Director, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

Sara James is National Strategy Director for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. Her new role with AmCham follows a distinguished career in journalism. Sara is an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist who travelled the globe for NBC News and frequently anchored at the Today Show news desk. Among her many prestigious awards, Sara earned a New York Festival award for her report on the first woman considered for the US space program. Sara’s featured segment An American in Oz airs fortnightly on ABC News Breakfast. Sara is also a Board Director of

Fulbright Australia and the American Australian Association.

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