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STEM career pathways for the Indigenous Australian community

By Huon Curtis

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has been awarded a competitive grant from the Department of Defence to support a project which will look at strategies to provide more STEM career pathways to the Indigenous Australian community in Northern Australia.

This project will build on previous work ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre has done in 2019-20 including the Indigi-Cyber Camps for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids and ongoing research work.

This new multi-year project - which focuses on information and communications technology and cyber-security - will establish a best practice reference model comprising a framework and strategy for creating and sustaining workforce pathways for Indigenous Australians.

Across the country there is an increasingly vibrant Indigenous innovation sector and initiatives that walk hand-in-hand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge keepers and communities.  Indigenous people across Australia need to be resourced and supported to learn from each other, share knowledge and build sustainable activities and enterprises.

Up-skilling this community will boost the economy of northern Australia, service the shortage of STEM experts, strengthen the national security ecosystem of Australia’s north, and sponsor a more inclusive and diverse community culture.

Project co-lead Dion Devow from ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre said “Our ambition is to look 30 years ahead and consider the paths forward for Indigenous Australians into IT and cyber.  We want to learn from the examples of Indigenous excellence in this area and expand education and employment opportunities. We are driven by the importance of forming shared values with communities, collaborating, celebrating and incorporating Indigenous Australian peoples and culture into IT and understanding the way this intersects with tech innovation.” 

Please contact Dr. Huon Curtis if you would like to find out more about this new project [email protected]