Ava Woodard


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Ava Woodard is one of our Curious Minds alumni who completed the program in 2017. She is currently studying at university and interested in interdisciplinary studies in Maths, Politics and Economics.

After 6 months of studying Criminology at UNSW, I knew something was missing. This was the first time in my life where I was not consistently doing a mathematics subject and I had only just realised how much I’d missed it. I decided to transfer into a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics! This was the perfect degree as I’m very interested in politics and making a positive change in the world, but it also allowed me to keep up my math skills in economics. Now I’m finishing the 3rd trimester of my second year at UNSW, and I couldn’t be happier.

Outside of university I work at the historic Ranwick Ritz cinema which I adore and in my spare time I work on short movies and film projects with my friends. I love spending my time with other creative and intelligent women and being able to learn and grow with each other. I’m also president of my universities Film society so I spend lots of time planning events, managing finances, and meeting new people for the club.

I consider my dad to be a mentor of mine. When I was a child, we would spend time together learning new math concepts beyond what I was doing at school, and I got so advanced that the school allowed me to skip a year, and I really owe a lot of that to my dad. I also really look up to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is a member of the US House of Representatives from New York. She was very interested in science in high school and went on to get a degree in international relations and economics, which is very similar to what I study. It’s really inspiring to see a strong woman with a STEM background at the forefront of progressive politics and I hope one day I could do something even close to what she does.

Curious Minds taught me that there is a space in the world for people like me. Young, creative women who are good at maths are necessary right now in the world and I hope that I can use my skills to make the world a better place.

This interview was developed in partnership with 3M