'I really believe that nature provides the answers to all our problems.'

Tien Huynh has loved nature ever since she was a young child growing up in Vietnam. At the age of six, she came to Australia with her mother and sister as refugees fleeing the Vietnam War, making the dangerous journey in a small crowded boat and with only the clothes they were wearing.

Tien’s interest in nature continued and her university studies, including her PhD, focussed on the conservation of endangered plants. She was often the only Asian woman in her class and she now mentors many female Asian students.

Tien has initiated a range of industry and community transformative projects. She is keen to see the reduction of waste in agricultural industries such as rice and coffee production. She is also passionate about the use of medicinal plants in cancer treatments. During a recent visit to Vietnam she came across the tropical Red Gac plant and is researching its many health applications and its cultivation in Australia.

Tien is co-founder, with Associate Professor Danilla Grando, of the Centre for Health and Biological Innovations Lab at RMIT University. In 2017, she was named a Superstar of STEM.