Who we are
We have up to 70 current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members across the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This includes roles from Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Practitioners, Academics, and Students. Our membership embraces men, women, and non-binary, and ages from high-school to Elders
If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elder or community member with Indigenous Knowledges in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics or are a practitioner, academic or student in these disciplines
please register your membership, this network is for you!
Membership is free for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
If you are a non-Indigenous person or representative of an Organisation that wishes to partner with us,
please contact us via our Contacts Page. We welcome partnership opportunities
Here are photos of our Leadership committee. There are many more photos of our members to come, stay tuned ...
History—Second online Gathering
Thursday, 4 February 2021
A second gathering of the Indigenous STEM Network (note: a formal name is yet to be agreed) was held on Thursday 4 February 2021 to progress discussions. 23 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working or studying across the four STEM disciplines attended, along with the CEOs of three supporting STEM sector organisations. Scott Gorringe, of MurriMatters Consulting, facilitated the session. Organisational support was provided by Science & Technology Australia, and the cost of professional facilitation was supported jointly by the Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science.
The meeting recapped the discussions from the historic first gathering of the potential network on 16 November 2020. It reviewed the summary of the key questions about the network:
The gathering refined the answers on these questions summarised below:
1. Do you agree with the notes of the first meeting, and was there anything you felt needed to be included?
• There was a strong desire to reflect the passion and excitement of these gatherings and the possibilities of a network.
• The gathering agreed to pick up and refine the answers from the previous topics on the span and interim leadership of the proposed network.
2. Who is to be part of the leadership group who will take next steps to establish the network?
• The gathering agreed to appoint an expanded interim leadership group of 8 to develop the work to the next stage and report back to the wider network.
• There was a desire to have gender and age balance and trans-disciplinary span.
• The people who were nominated for the interim leadership group were Brad Moggridge, Chris Matthews, Corey Tutt, Kalinda Griffiths, Alana Dooley, Ashley Marino, Landon Brady, and Grace Poole. Stephen Van Leeuwen, who was not able to attend on Feb 4, has also expressed interest in being part of the leadership group – as has Susan Beetson offering services on the leadership group and to create a digital co-working space.
• It was proposed the network could hold an election/selection process each year to refresh the membership of the leadership/steering group and give new people chance to serve.
• The interim leadership group will aim to start meeting fortnightly and report back to the wider network periodically.
• A desire was expressed to develop a mechanism to consult Elders as the work develops. This may not be in the initial set up/ driving leadership group, but there was a desire to connect to Elders to provide connection to culture, history and the mob.
• The CEOs of the three supporting STEM sector organisations reiterated their standing offer of support to assist the aspirations towards the network and the expanded leadership group.
3. WHAT is the purpose of a network (revisited)?
• The group re-affirmed that the network was to build a community of Indigenous people in STEM.
• Creating a profile and visibility of this group was seen as a primary task - and being a policy voice/advocate could come later once that profile is built.
• Research should be conducted to find out what other similar groups are out there and connect to them. We should not duplicate what is already out there.
• An annual conference to get together to share experiences, celebrate achievements and create a national profile was suggested. This could be over a week of showcasing, meeting and sharing. This could also provide an avenue to connect to similar international forums.
• This could be complemented by regular online catchups for the existing community.
• The network could provide mentoring and coaching over different stages of career and life. It could propose how to incorporate Indigenous culture and knowledge into education.
• Promotion and exposure is key, and a communications strategy should be created. We need to agree a vision, which includes telling stories.
• The gathering discussed that a primary objective of a network is to be a connector of Indigenous people in STEM with each other.
• A key role could be to find mentors and role models, to collaborate on work and projects, and to share and celebrate achievement.
• Support and mentorship is a clear aspiration that this network could progress.
• The network could also tackle structural racism and career obstacles in STEM.
• The meeting was handed over to the leadership group to set a date for the next meeting. This will be done offline, led by Landon.
• The expanded interim leadership group to start meeting fortnightly to progress work and can take up the offers of support from the supporting STEM organisations as needed.
• Many members of the wider group did ask if the names, contact details, and disciplines/specialties of all the attendees could be shared so that further connections could be made.
• At the end of the 3 hour ZOOM session, Brad Moggridge thanked all who attended and expressed hope and excitement for the future of this network. Misha Schubert from STA reiterated the support of the three STEM sector supporting organisations to support this Indigenous-led initiative. The Zoom session closed at 3.10pm.
History—Inaugural online Gathering
Monday, 16 November 2020
Scott Gorringe, of MurriMatters, facilitated this inaugural online meeting of the Indigenous Australian STEM network. There were 35 Indigenous peoples that attended from across Australia plus 4 partners for a total of 39 attendees. 7 others RSVP’d but did not attend. There were another 18 people who had expressed interest and 1 supporter who did not RSVP or attend.
The Zoom meeting started at 12 noon on the 16th November 2020 with Scott introducing the protocols and framework to conduct the get-together. Scott handed to Brad, as one of the founding members, to speak to the forum and open it.
Brad Moggridge spoke to how this forum was being introduced in hope of addressing separation and loneliness suffered by Indigenous peoples working in the STEM fields. This forum could provide the ability to network and make connections. It should also be a way to celebrate achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by Indigenous peoples.
Scott then introduced the questions to be discussed in the Zoom breakout rooms, in the 7 groups of 5 people each. Groups discussed the questions proposed and each group fed back a summary of their conversations. Below is a summary of the answers to those questions. There was general agreement with the objectives as set out in the Scoping document, but also considerable thought given by all the groups to the issue. They seemed to come together under a few common themes within the questions.
1. WHY? Why have an Indigenous STEM network? What purpose do you want it to serve?
Sharing stories and experiences and supporting each other in the STEM space
Protect and showcase Indigenous scientific knowledge
Provide policy advice on Indigenous science agenda
2. WHAT? What would be the 3 top priorities that the network should focus on?
plan work program
3. WHO? Membership - Who should be members, what are the criteria and what is the mechanism?
Membership should be aligned to the values:
Must be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; consider the spread and regional coverage
Assign importance to Knowledge of Country and standing in the community
Community focus - includes Elders and students
Membership should be as inclusive as possible
4 & 5. HOW? How to progress this initial historic meeting & who should lead us? How to move it forward? When to meet next?
There was a strong desire expressed across the board to maintain the momentum.
Consider creating a board, or core group, to progress ideas with representation of Elders, students, professionals etc.
There is a strong desire to ensure the network is Indigenous led, in practice and values.
There was a suggestion to start things off by bringing the Chairs of various Indigenous reference groups or working groups in STEM together as the steering committee to provide the foundation to the inaugural board. Some of these groups could be NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub, Ecological Society of Australia's Indigenous Reference Group, Australian Marine Science Association Indigenous Reference Group, Engineers Australia Indigenous Working Group, Indigenous reps on CRC Boards, etc.
The supporting organisations (Science & Technology Australia, the Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science) renewed their offers of support to continue to support with logistics and help – and those offers will be gratefully accepted.
At the end of the 3 hour ZOOM session Brad thanked all who attended for their generous support and look forward to the next meeting. Misha reiterated what Brad had stated and added that the three organisations are committed to supporting the formation of a body. Zoom session closed at 3.10pm Monday 16th November 2020.
Engineering Student USYD
NISTEMPN Leadership Committee
Policy Officer Dept Environment & Science
Past (2021) NISTEMPN Leadership Committee
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Members
Inaugural Supporter Organisations
Partnerships with non-Indigenous organisations and individuals are most welcome. Our partner packages for our Inaugural face-to-face Gathering are as follows: