Anthony Murfett is the Deputy Head of the newly established Australian Space Agency, the public service agency responsible for developing Australia's space industry.
As the Deputy Head of an agency that aims to triple the size of the Australian space industry, Anthony is excited by the huge scope for future employment in this sector.
"As we see the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things, the jobs available today are going to be different to those available tomorrow. Having skills that are applicable across a range of fields will be important, as will lifelong learning to keep ahead of the skills curve."
As an immunology student, a career in space wasn't a foregone conclusion for Anthony.
"I started in immunology and now work in space. I don't think I imagined that when I went to university."
Anthony advises current students and recent graduates that the skills they pick up in their undergraduate years remain important, even if they're applied in unexpected ways.
"No longer is space reserved for Government; it is open for business and the commercial sector. The industry is going to need all sorts of skills, from people with STEM backgrounds to people who are communicators, good negotiators, policy writers and business managers."
Anthony is enthused by recent developments in space activities in Australia, including the new ANU Institute for Space, InSpace. InSpace will bring together technology, science and law research and focus on cross-disciplinary projects to support Australian space business development.
"We look forward to working with Professor Anna Moore (Head of InSpace) and the team to help bring to light academic endeavours with industry. These type of announcements highlight Australia's capabilities and competitive advantages to the world, which goes to our purpose to grow and transform Australia's space industry."
For this former immunology student, working on the future of space means keeping grounded in everyday realities.
"We want to show the impact of space on our lives, how it can help farmers, support drought, help new technologies. Importantly we want to inspire so our people look to STEM education and support our space endeavours."
Written by Eva Medcalf