For the past 20 years, Danebank has honoured the extraordinary achievements and life journey of Miss Ruby Payne Scott with an annual science lecture presented by a female scientist. This year’s lecture was presented by  Dr Lidia Matesic a Radiochemist at Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto).

Dr Matesic presented to Senior Science students about her journey through science, explaining how her career path formed. An initial interest and attraction to science at school led her to applying for work experience and part-time work at her local Pharmacy while completing a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry and a PhD in Chemistry to now being a radiochemist.

As a radiochemist she works with radioisotopes incorporating them into organic molecules to be used in preclinical studies to image disorders such as cancer and neurological diseases.

Dr Matesic remembered being in a similar situation to our current senior students, choosing elective subjects, which, as it turns out wasn’t too difficult as she was “quite good at maths and always loved science”. Next came thoughts about her future, asking questions and seeking answers about possible jobs and a career path:

  • What does a day in that job look like? 
  • Can I see myself doing that? 
  • What would challenge me?
  • Does it sound like it’s right for me? 

Her advice was to follow what you are interested in and make the most of all your experiences and opportunities, be flexible and have an open mind to help you choose the right path for your future career. 


“If you love what you do, it won’t feel like work!”

Dr Lidia Matesic Ruby Payne Scott Lecture 2019 - Danebank

Click here to learn more about Dr Matesic's role at ANSTO.

The study of STEM Subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are said to teach important skill-sets that provide the foundations for our modern industrial and corporate world. Danebank offers girls the opportunity to study each of these subjects and has had outstanding HSC results. In 2018 more than 90% of our HSC subjects performed better than the NSW average. 

Ruby Payne Scott

Ruby Payne Scott  

Ruby Payne-Scott was an Australian pioneer in radiophysics and radio astronomy.

  • One of the founders of radio astronomy
  • At just 16, she began studying at Sydney University graduating in 1933 with First-Class Honours in physics and maths
  • The 3rd woman to ever graduate in physics from the University of Sydney 
  • Credited with discovering Type I and III bursts of radio emissions from the sun
  • A passionate advocate for women’s rights in the workplace, equal rights for women were barely heard of in the 1940s
  • Taught maths and science at Danebank from 1963 to 1974

If you would like to read more about the incredible life of Ruby Payne Scott read more here.