Rossjohn Laboratory pioneers inclusive paid internship program for GradWISE graduates
In a display of commitment to diversity and inclusion, Rossjohn Laboratory, a renowned Biomedical Science research lab in Australia, has taken significant strides to create a more inclusive workplace and support newly emerging graduates with disabilities. As a longstanding partner of GradWISE, the organisation has recently offered multiple disability-affirmative paid internship positions to graduates from various universities, marking a ground-breaking moment for the scientific community.
Four GradWISE science graduates secured the highly sought-after internship opportunities at Rossjohn Laboratory. Over the past 12 weeks, they have been welcomed into the research and administrative teams, immersing themselves in the inner technical workings of the cutting-edge laboratory.
Leading this initiative is Professor Jamie Rossjohn, FAA FAHMS FLSW FMedSci FRS, an ardent advocate for workplace diversity. Professor Rossjohn’s unwavering commitment to creating broader internship opportunities for graduates with disabilities has set a shining example for the scientific community. He firmly believes that by fostering diversity in the workplace, not only does the team benefit from a wider range of perspectives and ideas, but it also leads to enriched experiences for all involved.
“Collaborating with the Rossjohn Lab has been an incredibly enriching experience for GradWISE participants. Their dedication to fostering inclusion and providing meaningful opportunities is truly commendable. Together, we’ve opened doors for talented individuals to contribute to groundbreaking projects” says Head of GradWISE Edward Osano.
During their internship, they have had the privilege of participating in the Monash Sensory Science Exhibition held in June. The exhibition, which brings together art and science for participants with diverse needs, provided an inspiring platform for the interns to showcase their skills and passion for scientific discovery.
The experience at Rossjohn Laboratory has proven to be transformative for the interns, giving them greater confidence in navigating the workplace and reinforcing their passion for scientific research. One intern, who had never been employed before, expressed immense excitement and eagerness to continue contributing to the lab as part of their ongoing career journey.
GradWISE student Sophia says “working for Rossjohn Laboratory has long been a goal of mine. I was so excited to secure the internship with assistance from GradWISE. Assisting the team to deliver the Monash Sensory Science Exhibition has helped improve my confidence and broaden my skills. I felt supported every step of the way. I’m so grateful to Professor Rossjohn and the team for this opportunity.”
Professor Rossjohn, while discussing the remarkable progress of the GradWISE interns, was filled with pride and admiration for their contributions. In recognition of their exceptional performance, he provided the GradWISE interns with an additional six-week contract extension, underscoring the laboratory’s commitment to nurturing talent and providing meaningful opportunities.
Over the last three months, Coach Roanna Harry has been there to provide support to the GradWISE participants.
“The Monash Sensory Science Exhibition was an impressive display of inclusive creativity and innovation. It was wonderful to see the Rossjohn interns in action as they assisted the team to run the event. It’s been so heart-warming to see our students thrive and witness their professional growth over the course of the internship. The nurturing and inclusive culture within the Rossjohn team has been crucial to their success. As they near the end of the internship, GradWISE look forward to continuing to support our participants to leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as they embark on careers in the science field” says Roanna.
[Images: 1. Sean Christopher (L) and Sophia Ladanyi (R) assisting at the Monash Sensory Science exhibition on June 30th, 2023. 2. Tactile models of immunity created for the exhibition.]