STEM Punks founder wins gold at global awards

Published 5:00am 17 June 2024

STEM Punks founder wins gold at global awards
Words by Jodie Powell

A Samford woman has been presented with a global award by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.

STEM Punks Co-founder Fiona Holmstrom – who was named the inaugural Business Woman of the Year at the Moreton Bay Business Excellence and Innovation Awards in 2021 – was named the Global Impact Award winner of the 2024 Women Changing the World Awards in Windsor.

The awards, hosted by Oprah Winfrey’s favourite guest, Dr Tererai Trent, celebrate and recognise women achieving outstanding success in areas such as sustainability, humanitarian work, leadership, advocacy, education, health, and innovation.

Inspiring women

They recognise the growing number of women who are leading the way in making the world a better place and aim to inspire other women to answer the call to take action.

“These exceptional women are here to awaken hearts, give permission to recapture dreams, and inspire the women of the world to come together to forge a brighter path for all,” Dr Trent says.

“The rising of women is the awakening of everybody.”

Fiona says she’s excited to win gold for Global Impact in the 2024 Women Changing the World Awards.

“Winning this award is an incredible honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team at STEM Punks,” Fiona says.

“It reinforces our commitment to making a lasting impact through education and innovation.

“This award is important to me because it highlights the importance of empowering the next generation with the skills they need to shape the future.”

Passion for making a difference

Fiona says she was inspired by the other women in her category and those she met at the event.

“Their stories of resilience, creativity, and passion for making a difference were incredibly motivating and affirm the power of collective action.”

As well as the Global Impact Award, Fiona also won Gold for the Woman of the Year, and a Special Award from the Duchess of York.

Dr Trent’s vision for the awards is to empower women everywhere to reclaim their sacred dreams and call in women across the globe to unite and pave the way towards a better future for all.

A stellar year

It can be challenging to create change and Fiona says others thinking about following their calling to make a difference must believe in their vision, be persistent, and surround themselves with a supportive community.

“Every small step counts towards making a significant impact,” she says.

Fiona, who founded world-leading STEM education program STEM Punks for students and teachers in primary and secondary schools in her Samford Valley garage in 2017, says she’s proud of her achievements.

In the past 12 months, she has successfully launched STEM Punks’ global online education platform, collaborated with international partners to expand STEM education in underserved communities, and developed innovative learning resources that have reached more than 200,000 students worldwide.

She attributes the success to having a passionate team, a clear mission, and unwavering support from industry.

Fiona says she’s committed to continuing to make an impact through her work, and her vision for the future is to expand STEM Punks’ reach even further, ensuring every child has the opportunity to engage with STEM education, regardless of their background or location.

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