Australian of the Year Michelle Simmons has urged young scientists to stay at home and take on the world from here.
When she left Britain in 1999, Professor Simmons chose Australia as the place where she could pursue her dreams in quantum physics and is now leading the world in the field.
She says Australians' anti-authority attitude, willingness to have a go and egalitarian society provide the perfect culture for a scientist to thrive and believes ambitious youngsters don't need to leave the country to succeed.
As long as they're prepared to work.
"Do what is hard, place high expectations on yourself, take risks and do something that matters. These ideas have kept me going when things have got tough," she said.
"I have come to realise that I am fortunate to live in a country that not only accepts these ideals but celebrates them.
"That is something that says something very important about Australian society.
"That is why I say to all the young people out there who have dreams they are following, be proud of your country and of who you are.
"Understand there are many opportunities here as there are anywhere else in the world.
"Unlike me you don't have to go overseas to realise your dreams, you can realise them right here."
Prof Simmons leads a team at the University of NSW developing a silicon quantum computer which can take minutes to solve complex problems which would have taken thousands of years, by working on calculations all at once rather than consecutively.
They are, she says, "creating devices that never existed before", including the world's smallest transistor made from a single atom and the world's thinnest wire.
Their quantum computer could change the way the world lives, especially in areas such as drug design, weather forecasting, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.
She's honoured and surprised to be named Australian of the Year, but hopes to use the position to encourage more girls into science.
"As a physicist, I'm also a woman in a man's world," she said.
"People often underestimate female scientists. In some ways for me that has been great. It has meant I have flown under the radar and have been able to get on with things.
"I feel it is important not to be defined by other people's expectations of who you are and what you might be."
But she wants them there on merit.
"I'm not a fan of mandating that there are equal numbers of men and women in every job," she said.
"I am a fan of ensuring all young people, both male and female, pursue what they love, set their sights high, tackle the hardest challenges in life and they be the creators not just the users of technology."