Murdoch University forensic entomologist Dr Paola Magni has been appointed a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy.
Dr Paola Magni's specialist skills in forensic entomology and underwater forensics are valued the world over, but it was her efforts in building collaboration between Italian and Australian scientists and institutions that gained the attention of Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
The Consul of Italy to Western Australia Nicolò Costantini presented Dr Magni the prestigious medal which specifically honours Italians abroad or foreigners for the promotion of friendly relations and cooperation between Italy and other countries.
Upon accepting the award, Dr Magni spoke about the difficult decision to leave her home country to pursue her career and thanked her mother for providing reassurance.
“When I hesitated to venture forth, she said ‘I gave you roots to come back to, but also wings to fly’ - those words provided me with the courage to chase my dreams without feeling guilty, and for that, I will forever be grateful,” she said.
Dr Magni also paid tribute to Italy’s pioneering female scientists.
“Italian women are renowned for their culinary expertise, but they are also exemplars in the field of science,” she said, “it is an honor to showcase their accomplishments and contribute to breaking stereotypes.”
Dr Magni concluded by promising to explore more avenues for bilateral collaboration between Italy and Australia.
“Our shared passion for science and the pursuit of knowledge knows no boundaries - I am committed to fostering these connections and nurturing the relationship between our nations.
“Together, we can achieve remarkable things.”
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