Attendees at the 2018 APAC Blockchain Conference had the privilege of witnessing history in the making yesterday, when three of our girls presented at the event, sharing their insights on how they see the future of Blockchain evolving. For the first time at a technology conference, students from Melbourne Girls Grammar were proudly starred as keynote speakers. The stake on gender equality made by the conference organisers, Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) and Civic Ledger, was quite fitting given the ground-breaking subject matter of Blockchain technologies.
The second annual APAC Blockchain Conference was held from 13 – 15 March in Melbourne, and brought together blockchain innovators, business leaders and regulators to help build blockchain strategy and assess the viability of the technology. Industry experts such as Robert Kahn, known as the father of the internet, spoke about looking beyond the hype at the real impacts and potential of blockchain technologies in Australia.
“While the world talks about being on the periphery/brink of a technological revolution, we are proud to say we have already entered this space, and we are here to stay.”
Evangeline Mullins, Year 12.
Millicent Perkins, a Year 12 student and Melbourne Girls Grammar School Captain, opened the segment, welcoming the Chinese delegates in attendance in their native tongue. In her speech, Millie noted “I have the ability to develop something that becomes the standard that everyone uses because what I create really works, not because some big institution tells me it should be that way.”
Ivan Carlisle, Director of STEM at Melbourne Girls Grammar followed, sharing the work being done at the School around emerging technologies and preparing students for the future of work.
Following this, Evangeline Mullins, another Year 12 student, spoke of the Smart Cities Hackathon where Melbourne Girls Grammar girls were awarded third place amongst a field of predominantly professional participants, as well as her personal interest in the intersection of technology and policy. In her presentation, Evie reflected on “the feedback, encouragement and genuine engagement from attending events such as these stirs us to continue to open our minds to new possibilities”. In closing, Evangeline said “We are here, in the present, ready to shape our futures. As youthful, inexperienced yet creative students, we offer raw opinions; with a balance of fearlessness, elasticity and scrutiny. While the world talks about being on the periphery/brink of a technological revolution, we are proud to say we have already entered this space, and we are here to stay.”
Finally, Serena Malatesta, a Year 10 student, spoke of her Blockchain project on peer to peer tutoring, and how she is working with Civic Ledger to bring this to fruition. In her speech, Serena reflected on the opportunity to speak at such a prestigious event, noting that what she really enjoys about blockchain events is that it is “authentic”. She believes “it provides students with a genuine opportunity to tackle real-world problems. The possibilities that will arise from this course, for me personally, are liberating as they will allow me to provide a solution that benefits my community and allows me to develop my entrepreneurial capabilities.”
“I have the ability to develop something that becomes the standard that everyone uses because what I create really works, not because some big institution tells me it should be that way.”
Millicent Perkins, Year 12
Melbourne Girls Grammar Principal, Catherine Misson, attended the conference, and expressed her pride in the students for their bold action.
“We really believe it is an historical moment for women to take advantage – women leading the digital economy would significantly accelerate gender parity. I am incredibly proud of our girls for stepping up and demonstrating that they have the insights, creativity, and skills to be these digital pioneers. Sitting in the audience I saw first-hand how engaged the room of adult experts were – and impressed by the exceptional level of poise and enthusiasm the girls brought to their reflection on Blockchain projects they have and will be executing through their peer collaborations.”
“The possibilities that will arise from this course, for me personally, are liberating as they will allow me to provide a solution that benefits my community and allows me to develop my entrepreneurial capabilities.”
Serena Malatesta, Year 10