Girls in Physics Breakfasts

There were only 2 Breakfasts early in 2020 before COVID forced the cancellation of Breakfasts for the remainder of 2020. The uncertain situation in 2021 has meant that events cannot be planned.  It is hoped that Breakfasts will re-commence in 2022.

For 2020 the Girls in Physics Breakfasts were to be held in Terms 1 and 2. There was to be one Breakfast at Monash University and several in regional Victoria at Geelong, Warrnambol, Ballarat, Mildura, Bendigo and Wodonga. There was also to be an additional Breakfast with the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer for 2020 in August in Central Melbourne.

At the breakfast students from Years 10 to 12 share a table with two or three women who are either in a career in physics or engineering, or are at university as an undergraduate or a postgraduate. The students have a chance to ask questions about their careers and what study at university is like. Students are seated with students from other schools.

At each breakfast there is an address by a prominent scientist, who talks about her area of interest at a level appropriate for the audience. The flyers below are aimed at students with space for a teacher’s name as a point of contact.

Below are the details of the events planned for 2020.

Breakfasts planned for 2020

  • 10th March, Mildura Speaker: Dr Suzie Sheehy, University of Melbourne and Oxford University Topic: Colliding worlds: Using particle physics to cure cancer. Flyer. To book: click here.
  • 13th March, Ballarat Speaker: Hilary Wilson, Bureau of Meteorology Topic: Measuring the atmosphere to predict the weather. Flyer. To book: click here.
  • 18th March, Geelong Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Hinde, University of Melbourne Topic: Glow in the dark: Using fluorescence to observe DNA in a living cell. Flyer. To book: click here.
  • 17th April, Wodonga Speaker: Dr Judy Hart, University of News South Wales Topic: Developing new materials for Renewable Energy. Flyer. To book: click here.
  • 1st May, Warrnambool Speaker: Emeritus Prof Frances Separovic AO, University of Melbourne Topic: MRI of Molecules: Biophysics meets Cell Chemistry Flyer. To book: click here.
  • 15th May, Bendigo Speaker: Dr Gail Iles, RMIT Topic: Human spaceflight and Science in Space. Flyer. To book: click here.
  • 2nd June, Monash University Speaker: Dr Dianne Ruka, Monash University Topic: Future Computing and Low Energy Electronics.Flyer. To book: click here.
  • Term 3, Central Melbourne Speaker: The Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) Women in Physics International lecturer for 2020. The name of the speaker and other details will be announced in April 2020.

Times: The Breakfasts start at 7:30am and finish about 10:00am. Note: The Geelong Breakfast starts at 8:00am.

Program: There is a 45 min talk, starting about 8:20am followed by questions. After this there are two activities on Careers in STEM i) People Like Me Quiz and Job Roles Analysis and ii) Panel of Guests and Case Studies analysis.

Cost per student is $15 with teachers free. The cost for additional teachers was $15 each. A discount to $5 per student is available for schools with a low ICSEA rank. Discounts can be applied for by emailing Vicphysics with subject ‘Breakfast discount’.

Max number of students per school: To enable more schools to participate, there was an initial maximum of six (6) students per school. For regional events up to 12 students can be accommodated.

Bookings must be made through Trybooking. The link will be included above when bookings open.

Note: Payment needs to be made at the time of booking, so a school credit card or personal credit card will be required. School Orders are not accepted. There is a small Trybooking surcharge. If a school subsequently needs an invoice number for their accounts, or if a teacher is making the payment and needs a receipt for reimbursement, please contact Vicphysics.

Promotion: Flyers for each breakfast will be available as the event is confirmed. They will include details about the venue, the topic and the speaker.

Interested in being a guest at one or more breakfasts?

If you are a young woman studying physics or engineering or working in these fields and would like to participate in this event, share a table with secondary students and meet with other young women in your field, please contact Vicphysics or go here to enter your details on line. There is no cost.

Breakfasts in 2019

  • 22nd March, Ballarat Speaker: Dr Dianne Ruka, Monash University Topic: Future Computing and Low Energy Electronics. Flyer
  • 3rd May, Geelong Speaker: Dr Ellen Moon, Deakin University Topic: Science in the Antarctic: Where can STEM take you? Flyer .
  • 10th May, Warrnambool Speaker: Dr Gail Iles, RMIT Topic: Human spaceflight and science in space. Flyer.
  • 17th May, Bendigo Speaker: Dr Judy Hart, University of New South Wales Topic: Developing new materials for renewable energy. Flyer .
  • 24th May, Wodonga Speaker: Dr Estelle Wright, ANU Topic: Nuclear Fusion: An Australian Perspective. One page flyer.
  • 30th May, Central Melbourne Speaker: Dr Suzie Sheehy, University of Melbourne and Oxford University Topic: Colliding worlds: Using particle physics to cure cancer. Flyer
  • 28th August, Clayton Speaker: Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, ANSTO Topic: How neutrons can save the world. Flyer .

Sponsors and Supporters

The Girls in Physics Breakfasts are organised by the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network and supported by funding from Bank Australia, the Laby Foundation and sponsorships the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies (FLEET), the School of Engineering at Deakin University in Geelong, the College of Science, Health and Engineering at La Trobe University and the Faculty of Science and Technology at Federation University. The program is also supported by the Royal Society of Victoria.



The 2018 Breakfast Program: Final Breakfast talk for 2018 live streamed.

The talk by Dr Ceri Brenner was streamed live on Tuesday, 21st August. To access video click here. Her topic was ‘Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world.’