The initiative by the state's Technology Strategy committee follows a widely publicized case in which a 15-year-old girl at Canterbury Girls' High School was not permitted to take courses in computer studies and graphics that were available to her twin brother at the nearby Boys' High School. Alleging sexual discrimination, the girl won her case before the state's Equal Employment tribunal. Although the decision is being appealed, the case has added impetus to a drive for greater sexual equality in science in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.
Diana Temple of Sydney University, while pointing out that women in science still tend to have "handmaiden" roles, predicts much greater opportunities for them. "Student enrollment here shows notable increases in all scientific and science-based faculties," she said. "Veterinary science, with 57 percent, and pharmacy, with 59 percent, now have a preponderance of females in their undergraduate courses. And while engineering, at 9 percent, still has the lowest proportion of any faculty, it is here that the rate of increase in women's participation has been greatest."