The first Indigenous Australian to attend Oxford and Cambridge Universities as a postdoctoral fellow has won the 2018 CSIRO Indigenous STEM Awards for her career achievements.
Dr Misty Jenkins is a cancer researcher and Gunditjmara woman.
She has worked with Nobel Laureates and is a passionate advocate for building the STEM literacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“It is important to have role models because you can’t be what you can’t see,” Dr Jenkins said.
“By being visible, you are showing students that STEM is a viable career and that you can discover things that have never been discovered before.
“I see a lack of indigenous voices at the table across the industry and I want to see more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved.
“It is essential to have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural lens applied to Western Science, just like it is important to have others with diverse backgrounds and genders in senior positions in our workplaces.
“This breadth and depth of diversity is what is going to drive innovation.”
Early Career Professional Award Winner Dean Foley is a Kamilaroi man and founder of Barayamal, an Indigenous owned and managed charity that assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs through coding programs for young people, mentoring and workshops.
Wiluna Remote Community School won the School Award for their work with engaging with the Martu rangers and the Wiluna community to use traditional knowledge to teach science to students.
CSIRO Indigenous STEM Education Project Director, Therese Postma said it was important to celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in STEM as well as teachers and schools working in this space.
“All of our award winners inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students,” Ms Postma said.
“Wiluna Remote Community School is an outstanding example of an entire community coming together to teach students two-way science in Indigenous contexts.
“Educators Fifi Harris (STEM Champion Award) and Camila Zuniga-Greve (Teacher Award) demonstrate on a daily basis how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can be effectively engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
About the Awards
Funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation, the CSIRO awards recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, teachers and scientists, with a view to inspiring more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student participation in STEM studies and careers.
For more information visit the Indigenous STEM Awards.