Advice to my 16 year-old self - Featuring Dr Nasim Amiralian

8 March 2021


On International Womens’ Day, we asked AIBN’s Dr Nasim Amiralian what advice she would give to her 16-year-old self, if she could mentor a younger Nasim.

It’s been super challenging but my dreams are coming true

“I have a lot of advice for 16-year-old Nasim. First of all, I'm going to tell her who I am now, what I'm doing and let her know that the journey has been super challenging and difficult but it seems that finally my dreams are coming true.” 

Dr Nasim Amiralian is a group leader at AIBN who uses materials from nature to make more environmentally friendly products with better properties. During her PhD, she discovered and patented a unique high-quality cellulose nanofibre from spinifex, an Australian native arid grass, using simpler and more environmentally friendly methods. 

Arriving in Australia I felt so powerful

“I was born and grew up in Iran, in a beautiful city in the north. During my childhood, my parents always paid a lot of attention to our education. I did my bachelor and masters degrees in Iran and then got a scholarship from UQ. 

In September 2010 I came to Australia—the feeling was unbelievable, I felt super powerful, that I could do anything!” 

Take control of your situation

“Each of us has our own story and even in academia you always have to face different challenges. 

During my career I reached to a point where I wasn't able to make any progress, and more importantly, I wasn’t that happy and motivated Nasim anymore. But I took control of my situation, took full responsibility and started new research. Most importantly I gave birth to "new Nasim" and reawakened the Nasim that I knew 10 years ago when she arrived in Australia - she was unstoppable.”  

Be nice to yourself

“It doesn't matter how you feel now: be nice to yourself. It doesn't matter how other people judge you, don't care about them.” 

You’re important

“You're gonna reach a point in your life when you realise that: you're important, people value you, you're smart and it doesn't matter if you have a darker skin colour, you are beautiful as well.” 

Never give up

“I have faced a lot of challenges, but I never give up, I never let anything stop me achieving my dreams.”