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QUT honours 2019 Student Leader of the Year

18th October 2019

PhD student Naomi Paxton has been named the 2019 Student Leader of the Year at the QUT Student Leadership Awards.

The Student Leadership Awards are an initiative of the QUT Alumni Board and QUT Advancement, and aim to celebrate students for the quality of their engagement with the university and the wider community.

The previously announced 2019 Student Leadership Excellence winners were also recognised at the ceremony, including two Student Leadership Special Excellence winners, Vinnie Batten and Santiago Velasquez.

Top row: Raziq Qasimi, Sasha Purcell, Alexander Vosten, Kathryn Dorante, Vinnie Batten
Bottom row: Santiago Velasquez, Madison Birtchnell, Holly Crockford, Naomi Paxton, Kasun Kalhara

QUT Student Leader of the Year

Naomi has made an exceptional contribution to QUT and STEM throughout her time at university. Her current research project involves combining advanced biomaterials to 3D print scaffolds for bone regeneration. 

Professor Gordon Wyeth from QUT's Science and Engineering Faculty with the 2019 Student Leader of the Year Naomi Paxton
QUT Science and Engineering's Professor Gordon Wyeth and Naomi Paxton


She has shared her love of science with QUT and the wider community, engaging with over 3000 students across Queensland through the QUT STEM for Schools and Wonder of Science Program. Dedicated to teaching at QUT, Naomi commits to providing an engaging, active and dynamic classroom environment using systematic scientific enquiry to encourage deep learning.

Naomi has also contributed to the university community through her work as a STEM student ambassador, creating and delivering workshops for the QUT STEM Camp while managing the workshop program and training more than 50 ambassadors. 


As an enthusiastic science communicator, Naomi is determined to inspire others about the possibilities of STEM education and has taken this to the stages of TEDxQUT and recently TEDxGermany. She has been a keynote speaker, presenter, facilitator, organiser and demonstrator for over 35 local, national and international events. 

Gender inequity is a topic that Naomi is deeply passionate about, challenging this at international conferences and presenting targeted workshops to female high school students to promote STEM career pathways and endeavouring to increase the representation of females in STEM disciplines.

Naomi is a recipient of the 2019 Ezio Rizzardo Polymer Scholarship and the CSIRO Alumni Scholarship in Physics. She has been awarded the National Women in STEM prize and is a Vice-Chancellor and Dean’s Scholar. Over the past three years, Naomi has established herself as an effective and driven researcher and has published multiple articles including two in a Q1 top 5-ranked journal.


Her extensive involvement with the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) has seen Naomi represent the Injury Prevention and Trauma Management theme on the IHBI Postgraduate Committee in 2015, 2017 and 2018. 

Naomi aspires to be a leader in the field of biofabrication and is confident that 3D printing will be a standard of medical practice in the future. She is working towards a revolutionary treatment for patients with bone loss, hoping that one day there will be medical 3D printers in all hospitals.

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