Last week the World Science Festival kicked off on Turrbul Country in Queensland’s capital, Brisbane. The weeklong event showcased a stellar line-up of local and international scientists leading discussions, workshops and performances about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Among robots and augmented reality displays, the jam-packed schedule included a sold out talk by Indigenous scientist Karlie Noon, and a panel discussion about Indigenous Australian’s long connection to the stars.
Meet some of the many Indigenous Australian’s demonstrating excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Dr Chris Matthews – Mathematician and Chair of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA)
Dr Chris Matthews is a Noonuccal man from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) in Queensland. He has a PhD in Applied Mathematics and is passionate about teaching maths and science to Indigenous students.
“We’re about transforming ways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners to be more successful in maths,” he told NITV “How connecting culture with maths can achieve this, and how creating more innovative ways of teaching is a part of it.” Dr Chris Matthews said.
Djarra Delaney – Bureau of Meteorology’s Indigenous Weather Knowledge website
Djarra Delaney is a Quandamooka man from North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) and works with the Bureau of Meteorology on the development of the Indigenous Weather Knowledge website, to record and share valuable seasonal and environmental information and traditional knowledge.
“I am very passionate about this project and the valuable resource it can provide to communities and to our country about Indigenous weather and environmental science.” Djarra told indigenous.gov.au.
Sharni Cox and Greta Stephenson – CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM Awards recipients
Sharni Cox and Greta Stephenson are the 2016 CSIRO’S STEM Student Award winners. The awards celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are studying and working in STEM related areas. Sharni and Greta both have a passion for science and want to work in STEM related fields in the future.
Luke Briscoe – Indigilab
Luke Briscoe, is a proud Kuku-Yalanji man from Far North Queensland and is the Founder of Indigilab. Indigilab provides education, training, and opportunities for Indigenous communities in science, technology and innovation space. Last year Indigilab launched Australia’s first Indigenous science and technology magazine, STREAMS IQ.
“Indigenous people have a vast understanding of the universe that dates back to over 80,000 years. Our science’s are so old that it would be impossible to quantify the value of this wisdom. It’s our hope that this STREAMS IQ might play a vital role in ensuring more Indigenous voices in the science, technology and environmental sectors are heard and respected.” Luke Briscoe said.
Willy Stevens – Aboriginal astronomy guide at the Sydney Observatory
Willy Stevens is a Muruwarri man from Lightning Ridge and is the Sydney Observatory’s first Indigenous guide. Through the Dreamtime Astronomy Program Willy shares stories of Aboriginal astronomy, passed down through millennia, with students and the wider community.
“For me, it’s about teaching culture,” “I love to share my knowledge with my community.” Willy Stevens said.
Do you know someone studying or working in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths? Let us know and nominate them for the 2017 IDX Awards here.