NSW Young Australian of the Year Macinley Butson may be doing Year 12 but she has not slowed down helping others and developing her ideas in 2018.
The first Australian to win the top prize for medicine at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair has just been chosen to take part in a global research event in the United States.
“I am one of two people chosen to represent Australia to go over to the Research Science Institute which is held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston,” she said.
“It is a six week intensive research program where we get partnered up with a mentor from either Harvard or MIT and do one week of intensive college classes and then five weeks of university level research. I will be leaving in the middle of June to go and do this. I’ll be missing out on a bit of school but these opportunities I think are very worthwhile. I feel very fotunate.”
Ms Butson, 17, is also moving forward with production on her “Smart Armour” invention for breast cancer patients that can shield the non-treated breast while the patient is undergoing radiotherapy treatment on the other.
“Smart Armour was my science project in Year 10 which I have decided to move forward with this year,” she said.
“It is something I have actually been working with my brother (Ethan Butson) on. We have started a pilot study up at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. We have been talking to some of the patients for their respons and getting feedback from radiation therapists. We are just finalising the final aspects of it. What my brother and I are looking at doing is upscaling that and getting it into as many hospitals as possible. At the moment we are looking for funding.”
Ms Butson wants to see the Smart Armour breast shield made as soon as possible. And will do everything she can to make that happen.
“I thinks this is something that has the potential to change the lives of people going through radiation therapy for the better,” she said.
“I would just like to get it out there as quick as possible.”
Ms Butson may be presently doing her HSC but she is not too busy to further develop another innovation that simultaneously collects solar power and filters water to help save lives in third world countries.
“That was my science project in Year 9 and I am doing a continuation that,” she said.
“This device which is called the SAS System, that stands for Sanitation and Sterilisation, is able to provide both portable drinking water as well as medical grade sterile water. This device was particularly aimed at developing communities with a lack of safe drinking water.”
“What I found out through research is one in five people who undergo a surgery in a developing community will die as a result of infection. I thought everyone is aware of the water crisis but this is a big issue as well.”
If that and doing Year 12 at TIGS is not keeping her busy enough, this Friday the Mangerton teenager is speaking at the INSPIRE Women’s Lunch at the new Shellharbour Civic Centre.
The speaking engagement comes just days after Ms Butson impressed everyone present as the guest speaker at Centro CBD for the Zonta Club of Wollongong’s annual Young Woman in Public Affairs Award.
Other speakers are Have Health director Jo Mould and disability advocate Susan Wallis.