Agricultural scientist wins top prize at Premier's Science Awards

A world renowned botanist has been honoured as Western Australia's Scientist of the Year at this year's Premier's Science Awards ceremony held last night.
  •  Professor Kadambot Siddique has been named Scientist of the Year at the 2023 Premier's Science Awards
  • All seven award category winners share in a total prize pool of $100,000         
  • Leading bullying prevention expert inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame

A world renowned botanist has been honoured as Western Australia's Scientist of the Year at this year's Premier's Science Awards ceremony held last night.

Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique AM CitWA FTSE, Director at The University of Western Australia's Institute of Agriculture, has dedicated his 35-year career to research, training, technology exchange and industry development.

His research and novel agricultural techniques have an important impact on Western Australian cereal and grain legume production in our increasingly arid dryland environments and in addressing world food security.

As part of the ceremony, Emeritus Professor Donna Cross OAM was inducted into the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame.

Across a 40-year career, Professor Cross's research has been instrumental in shaping all major school bullying prevention programs in Australia, as well as many school wellbeing policies and curricula.

Other winners at the Awards night included:

  • Professor Britta Regli-von Ungern-Sternberg from Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Western Australia; and Professor Hongqi Sun from The University of Western Australia – Mid-Career Scientist of the Year (Joint Winners);
  • Dr David Gozzard from The University of Western Australia – Early Career Scientist of the Year;
  • Denby Evans from Telethon Kids Institute and Curtin University – Student Scientist of the Year;
  • Rebecca Famlonga from Murdoch University and Telethon Kids Institute – Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year; and
  • MissionsConnect from Curtin University – Science Engagement Initiative of the Year.

Each Award recipient will share in the total prize pool of $100,000, including $50,000 for the Scientist of the Year, chosen from finalists from all fields of science.

Since 2002, more than 110 awards have been given to the State's best and brightest researchers, students and communicators.

The Premier's Science Awards are proudly sponsored by gold sponsors, Shell and Woodside; silver sponsor, DUG; and bronze sponsors, CSIRO and the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre.

The Awards are also supported by sector sponsor Telethon Kids Institute; community partners Scitech and the Western Australian Museum; media partner The West Australian; and Western Australia's five universities, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, The University of Notre Dame and The University of Western Australia.

For more information on the awards and more information on the winners see Premier's Science Awards (

Comments attributed to Premier Roger Cook:

"A huge congratulations to all the winners at the Premier's Science Awards, including Scientist of the Year Professor Kadambot Siddique for his world class agricultural research.

"Each year the WA Science Hall of Fame sees a new addition and I am delighted to see Professor Donna Cross recognised for her impactful outcomes for children.

"Last night's winners show that science is fundamental to our health and quality of life, our environment and our current and future economy.

"I know each award recipient will go on to be amazing ambassadors for STEM in Western Australia and no doubt encourage many to follow in their footsteps."

Comments attributed to Science Minister Stephen Dawson:

"I am in awe of all the winners of the Premier's Science Awards, who prove without a doubt that WA has some of the best scientific minds in the country.

"Our 2023 Premier's Science Awards finalists and winners demonstrate Western Australia's key strengths across a range of STEM areas, from radio astronomy, space operations and remote technologies, to marine science, medical sciences, food security, and more.

"The Cook Government is committed to establishing Western Australia as a global hub for science and technology development, and I look forward to seeing our award winners drive future scientific breakthroughs across the State."