Money & Career

Meet Macinley Butson: The Teenage Inventor Saving Lives

So many inventions, so little time

At seven, Macinley Butson (far left, sitting) was obsessed with sunglasses, so much so that when her mum refused to buy her an 11th pair, she invented her own. It was the first of many inventions. From her parents’ garage in NSW’s Wollongong, Butson, now 18, has unveiled an assembly line of life-saving devices, from a pesticide-free snail repellent to protect her family pup, to a solar-power system that filters dirty water to make it drinkable.

Eight years after her first foray into sunglass design, a conversation over the dinner table drove Butson to solve a much bigger problem. “When Dad [who works in the radiation field] explained the problematic effect radiotherapy treatment can have on breast cancer patients, I knew I needed to help,” recalls Butson, who invented ‘SMART Armour’ to protect patients from excess radiation. After extensive testing, the SMART Armour has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for practice and Butson, now studying a Bachelor of Science, is campaigning to find a hospital to undertake a pilot study.

At the marie claire and Bumble Glass Ceiling Awards, we celebrated the game changers, the trailblazers and the innovators fighting for gender equality in the workplace.

This article originally appeared in the September issue of marie claire. 

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