The Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students program team are a diverse, unique and passionate group of people who bring their energy and skills to the task of raising the achievement, engagement and attendance levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in science.

The team consists of a combination of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, male and female, young and old, who draw directly from their first-hand experience with working in classrooms and working with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students.

  • Joe Sambono

    Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students Manager

    Joe is an experienced secondary science teacher with Aboriginal family connections throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. His passion is all things Science, in particular Biology. He attended James Cook University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Zoology). He has been involved in education for most of his adult life and holds a Bachelor of Education from University of Queensland. Joe has a rare skill-set comprised of a comprehensive awareness of education, Indigenous knowledges, Indigenous ways of working scientifically and western science. He was seconded by the Queensland Department of Education as a Principal Project Officer supporting curriculum writers in the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into science curriculum materials. In his current role as Manager of the Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students program, Joe is responsible for ensuring the academic, scientific and cultural rigour of the project and its development and implementation.

  • Liz Kupsch View profile External link

    I2S2 Senior Coordinator - Services

    Liz grew up in Mt Isa and is a descendent of the Waanyi-Ganagalidda and Wankamadla people. She comes to the I2S2 team with over 25 years of experience working in the field of education. She completed a Bachelor of Education at James Cook University in Far North Queensland and has been a primary school teacher for 19 years gaining lots of hands on experience working predominantly in schools with low socio-economic status and significant populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. She has completed a Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre in Canberra and is also part of the Stronger Smarter Alumni for completing both the Stronger Smarter Leadership and Stronger Smarter Facilitator Programs. She has worked as an Embedding Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in Schools Principal Project Officer in the South East Region and managed a team to embed Indigenous perspectives into the Australian Curriculum through its Queensland element, Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C). Liz has a strong desire and life-long passion that is focussed on increasing the educational and life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • Jesse King View profile External link

    I2S2 Coordinator - North Queensland & Far North Queensland - Services

    Jesse is a Waanyi-Gangalidda man who has a passion for education and the opportunities it provides for everyone involved. He has close ties to the Mt Isa and Central Queensland regions through his father and mother’s family. Jesse attended school in Townsville and completed his teacher training at Charles Darwin University. He is keenly interested in the opportunities 21st century pedagogy offers for learners of all abilities and backgrounds. Jesse has experience in classroom teaching, school leadership, learning management system implementation (School and Sector), school strategic planning and has successfully gained funding and delivered a variety of programs at a school level.

  • Mhairi King View profile External link

    I2S2 Coordinator - Central Queensland - Services

    Mhairi is a passionate educator who has dedicated herself to Indigenous education. She holds a Bachelor of Education from James Cook University as well as a Masters of Indigenous Education from Macquarie University. Mhairi has a strong interest in researched based pedagogy. Her understanding of theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches is balanced with her practical experience working in Indigenous education. Prior to joining the I2S2 team, Mhairi worked simultaneously in classroom teaching roles as well as in teacher training with a focus on improving student outcomes through better engagement and planning. Her passion for education is rooted in the belief that greater educational attainment leads to better quality of life for all students.

  • Celia McNeilly View profile External link

    I2S2 Coordinator - Brisbane & Logan - Services

    Celia is a STEM professional and an educator with a passion for improving health and educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians. She holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the Queensland University of Technology. Celia is an advocate for teaching science by Inquiry, and has experience teaching science at both school and university levels.

  • Kate Shackleford View profile External link

    I2S2 Coordinator - New South Wales - Services

    Kate is a primary school teacher who has gained experience in schools in both the private and public sectors. She has strong teaching experience in the classroom having taught in a range of year levels from Prep to Year 7. Kate has extensive experience in curriculum writing, having been involved in the implementation and review of a range of STEM programs at a school level with a high focus on consultation during the development of engaging student resources and authentic assessment pieces. Kate completed her Bachelor of Education degree at Queensland University of Technology and began teaching in Brisbane before continuing her teaching career in the Torres Strait Islands. She has a passion and strong interest in improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students using high aspirational teaching and evidence based teaching frameworks.

  • Nathan Meredith View profile External link

    I2S2 Coordinator - South Australia - Services

    Nathan has a passion for Indigenous Science Education. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Conservation Biology with a Major in Indigenous Studies (Griffith) and a Graduate Diploma in Education (QUT). Nathan has spent the majority of his teaching career working in Indigenous Schools and brings to the team his experience in delivering Science programs to Indigenous learners. He has wider professional experience working in technical science and policy roles. Nathan is a qualified outdoor recreation guide and is currently completing a research project with Independent Schools Queensland focusing on the impact culturally appropriate outdoor recreation experiences have on the social emotional wellbeing of Indigenous students.

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