AFAS FEAST-France Award Presentation
Friday 20th October 2006


For three years now, the Australian French Association for Science & Technology (AFAS) and the French Embassy have been contributing towards the Victoria Fellowships that provide study grants for early-career scientists, engineers and innovators.  Those who benefit from these grants can travel worldwide to visit other laboratories or research institutes to complement and promote their work.

AFAS has been dedicated for many years to establishing and reinforcing links between France and Australia in the scientific and technical fields.  As part of its activities, in conjunction with the French Embassy, AFAS sponsors each year up to 3 people, either post-graduate students or early-career professionals, to undertake a trip to France with the objective of meeting and collaborating with scientists from the most famous research institutes, to the mutual benefit of both Australia and France.

This year the following candidates were awarded a $5000 grant :

  • Dr Bryan Fry, a biologist, who will visit the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, where he will continue to investigate and promote his works on animal protein venoms;
  • Mr Hadi Lioe, a post-graduate student from the Chemistry Department at Melbourne University, who will visit the Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Ionique et Moleculaire in Lyon to further study the mechanism of protein misfolding;
  • Dr Paul Stoddart, from the Physics Department at Swinburne University, who will visit the Institut des Metaux Jean Rouxel.
  • The ceremony for presentation of the awards took place at the Centre for Innovation and Technology Commercialisation in Melbourne, on October 20th.   Mr John Acton, President of AFAS Victoria, opened the proceedings with a short presentation on AFAS objectives and presence in Victoria.  Mr Michel Thibier, the new Scientific Counsellor from the French Embassy, took the opportunity to present himself and his role at the French Embassy.  Mrs Wendy Williams, from the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, followed with a review of the Victoria Fellowships.  During the presentation, a selection of pictures of the Fellows at work was displayed on a big screen.  Dr Bryan Fry, for instance, appeared with one of the venomous creatures that are the focus of his research

    Of the three Fellows, because of work commitments, only Mr Hadi Lioe was able to attend in person to receive his award, while Dr Bryan Fry was represented by one of his colleagues, and Dr Paul Stoddart by his 8-year-old daughter.

    As for all AFAS events, the atmosphere was relaxed and cheerful, and everyone had a chance to meet and chat with the Fellows at the buffet.   Some Fellows from previous years were also able to join the celebration.