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Tan Le
, 2018

by John Tsiavis

transparency between mirror substrates in LED lightbox (frame: diameter 120.5 cm)

Tan Le (b. 1977) is an innovator in the field of neurotechnology. In 1981, Le arrived in Australia with her mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and uncle, all of them refugees who had undertaken the perilous boat journey from Vietnam. She excelled academically, beginning her university studies at age sixteen. Awarded honours degrees in law and commerce from Monash University, Le worked as a lawyer before shifting her focus to the field of technology. Inspired by her mother, Mai Ho, who became the inaugural mayor of the city of Maribyrnong in 1997, Tan Le was named Young Australian of the Year in 1998 for her outstanding community service in Melbourne’s Vietnamese community and was named one of Australia’s Most Successful Women Under 30. In 2011, she founded EMOTIV, a neuroinformatics company that develops mobile electroencephalography (EEG) systems used to advance the understanding of the human brain and accelerate the creation of life changing solutions. Among Le’s many awards are the Advance Global Australian Award for Information and Communication Technology (2012) and the G’Day USA Innovation Award (2014). She was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013, and is both an Ambassador for the Status of Women and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. In 2018 she received the Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award – from the US organisation established in 1938 to enhance the effectiveness of technological innovation by networking the world’s best practitioners and thought leaders – honouring her ‘outstanding accomplishment in individual creativity and innovation that contributes broadly to the development of industry and to the benefit of society.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with funds provided by the Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation 2018
Accession number: 2018.63