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Lauren Burns

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Dr Lauren Burns is an aeronautical engineer, advocate and writer. She is a published author, has a PhD in aerospace engineering, holds a pilot’s licence, and is lead author on two granted patents.

Lauren Burns has worked globally in high-impact start-up companies designing zero emissions electric aircraft, and is a sought after mentor and role model to inspire people, particularly women and girls, to pursue careers in STEM, sustainability and entrepreneurship.

Lauren is a highly engaging storyteller who has appeared extensively across print, podcasts, radio and television media including The Guardian, Sunday Life, Archive Fever (with Clare Wright and Yves Rees), ABC Radio’s Law Report and The Drum. In 2014 her story was profiled in a two-part episode of Australian Story titled ‘Searching for C11’, which won the Walkley award for Social Equity Journalism.

She is the author of ‘Triple Helix’ (UQP, 2022) a memoir that focuses on her journey as a donor-conceived person into a discovery of self, kinship, and connection. Her incredible story traverses the shock discovery of a family secret, the epic search to find her biological father (leading to the surprise discovery that she is the granddaughter of a famous Australian writer), the battle to change the law, and the ongoing work to realign her identity and find her place within both families.

An accomplished speaker and panellist, Lauren Burns is an ideal presenter on the topics of her Inspiring Story, Gender Diversity & Equality, Women in STEM, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, sustainability and more.

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“Lauren joined us for a Family History Month event, offering an intelligent and moving account of the psychological and emotional significance of knowing and acknowledging genetic origins and inherited traits, and the power imbalances and overlooked human rights issues in the fertility industry.

Covid concerns forced us to move our planned in-person event online at short notice. Lauren was very responsive and supportive of the change and agreed to record the session so it could be made available online for a wider audience. Lauren’s eloquent and measured presentation gave a voice to a vulnerable and marginalised group. The audience was very engaged and there was so much to discuss, we could’ve talked for much longer.

The feedback we received from participants was universally positive and indicated that having Lauren share the expertise from her lived experience was a very powerful, educational and validating experience. Lauren was a joy to work with, very professional, open and warm. Lauren is an engaging speaker and thoughtful advocate for the donor-conceived community. Our library has added ‘Triple Helix’ to our book club sets where we expect Lauren’s story will generate thought provoking discussion.

—Susan Thomas, Librarian, City of Monash

“Lauren recently presented a talk about her book ‘Triple Helix’ for an audience at Hawthorn Library. The attendees were extremely engaged by her life story and seemed to have endless questions about her experiences and knowledge. As a donor-conceived person who has been involved in advocacy and regulation, Lauren embodies the complexities of assisted reproduction for the audience, making reproductive ethics less abstract and providing an invaluable community education opportunity for agencies and organisations. She was extremely organised, emotionally generous and flexible in her presentation, and I would not hesitate to recommend her public presentation skills to others.”

—Kate Dobby, Reader Development and Collections Librarian, City of Boroondara

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