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INTRODUCING KATE HARSANT

Kate lives a double life – science by day and art by night.

For the last nine years, Kate has been EA to Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter while also providing general admin support to ABI. Now, she’s co-ordinating Di Siew’s hectic diary and supporting CMDT activities.

“I graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2004 with a BFA (painting) and worked in the purchasing department at an art supplies store for a few years. While the constant exposure to new and exciting art materials was incredibly valuable – along with the staff discount – I was ready for a change.”


A friend mentioned Peter was looking for an EA – just what Kate was looking for. “The regular 9-5 of an office-based role worked really well for me. It allowed me a type of stability and consistency where I could use my weekends and evenings to develop my art practise. I’ve found that some of the most significant developments I’ve made in my art practise over the years have been inspired by and found in the places you least expect.”


And the move to work with Di and her team? “I had a bit of extra capability due to Peter’s now non-existent overseas travel, so it made sense to extend some assistance to another of the busiest people at the ABI.”


Kate says she’s always had a strong interest in science and healthcare. “I remember it was quite a dilemma choosing what subjects to focus on in my final high school years, as I wanted to do it all.


“It’s fascinating to learn about the novel research being done at the ABI and see the progression from basic research to translation to commercialisation. We get to see the full life cycle, particularly now that we have Cloud9, a designated floor for early stage spin-out companies.


“I’m particularly interested in personalised healthcare as well as wearables/devices that give users more knowledge and control in handling their own health conditions.

“Ultimately, the work done at the ABI fills me with a great sense of hope and excitement for the future. I’m so proud to work here.”


She confesses to being amazed at the ABI’s growth in the past 20 years which shows no signs of slowing down. “ABI provides the ultimate meeting place to bring together people from such different fields – engineering, physiology, mathematics. The innovative solutions they create together [to improve medical diagnoses and treat injuries and disease] really show what is possible when people collaborate.”


When she’s not painting, Kate crochets blankets and deals with presents from their cats. “My partner Guy and I are constantly cleaning up after our two cats who bring a “delightful” procession of offerings into the house - ranging from tree branches through to monarch butterflies, with a few rats thrown in for good measure!”