Young Indigenous women invited to join STEM Academy

Cassandra Diamond

A new national STEM program is rolling out with applications under the first round opening this week for young Indigenous women in North Queensland.

The Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy will give young Indigenous women the tools and support they need to succeed in an exciting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) career.

Studying STEM can lead to many opportunities, with three in every four jobs of the future requiring STEM skills.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are Australia’s first scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technologists and this knowledge allowed us to thrive for over 60,000 years. The Academy hopes to support young Indigenous women to succeed in STEM areas by promoting the knowledge and voices of First Nations people and providing a holistic program that focusses on strengths and opportunities for participants.

The program will focus on supporting young Indigenous women to engage with STEM education and careers by providing opportunities to learn and experience the array of skills and knowledges that make up the STEM sector.

The Academy is seeking applications from high achieving female and female-identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 8 students in Cairns and the Torres Strait, Townsville and Palm Island.

We have kicked off the high school element of the program this week with new regions added each year, reaching a target of 600 participants by 2023.

This is an opportunity for motivated young Indigenous women to realise their potential, through access to ongoing training, camps and mentoring programs from Year 8 right through to employment.

Recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an ongoing relationship with science and engineering that dates back thousands of years, we are co-designing the program closely with these communities and ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, technologies and process are an integral part of the program.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are already doing amazing things in STEM.

However, we know that there is a decline in students pursuing STEM subjects and this is particularly true for young Indigenous women. This program aims to empower the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females to reach for the stars and excel in the STEM jobs of the future.

The Academy is delivered by CSIRO in partnership with non-profit Indigenous employment organisation CareerTrackers Internship Program, who will work with the students to ensure their STEM path is tailored to their personal goals as well as ensuring their social and emotional wellbeing is supported.

The Academy is part of the $25 million Indigenous STEM Fund, announced by the Commonwealth Government as part of the 1967 Referendum – 50th Anniversary Indigenous Education Package.

Applications close 25 August 2019.

Apply here

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