The ASSETS program provides an opportunity for high achieving Year 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, with an interest in science, to explore the study and career options available to them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Photograph of student Tain with a microscope

The Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) is a residential summer school Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 10 students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

During the summer school, scientists share their research and discuss study and career possibilities while Indigenous mentors and leaders help students strengthen their cultural connections. Students will also complete a group research project and present their findings at the closing ceremony.

After the summer school, our leadership program supports students through Year 11 and 12. The program assists students to develop leadership skills and access work experience, mentoring and tertiary education opportunities.

All aspects of the ASSETS program are free for students.

[Music plays and a geometric design appears on the right of the screen and CSIRO and BHP Biliton logos and text appears: CSIRO My Path to ASSETS]

[Image appears of Alexander Radoll talking to the camera and text appears: Alexander Radoll, ASSETS 2015, Townsville]

Alexander Radoll: I would definitely recommend ASSETS. It’s a real fun programme.

[Images move through of a stake being hammered into the ground, a male taking a photo, a group of students walking through some trees and Alexander Radoll talking to the camera]

You get to meet new people, you get to know things more academically, more culturally. You just have a fun time with a bunch of people.

[Image changes to show Zed Hankin talking to the camera and text appears: Zed Hankin, ASSETS 2017]

Zed Hankin: One of my teachers that I had told me about it.

[Image changes to show a side view of Zed Hankin talking]

I wanted to mix it up.

[Images move through of a student looking at and soldering a small piece of electronic equipment]

I wanted to have something new and well this did it. It was something new, it was full of opportunities and great people, of course. I definitely wanted to go. Everyone was so individual. They all had their own opinions.

[Image changes to show Zed Hankin talking to the camera]

Everyone was just so different. It was great meeting them all.

[Image changes to show Elgina Kaitap talking to the camera and then the image shows a side view of Elgina Kaitap talking and text appears: Elgina Kaitap, ASSETS 2017, Newcastle]

Elgina Kaitap: I would definitely recommend ASSETS because it’s a good way for like indigenous kids to like seek possible pathways through uni,

[Images move through of a group of students on a pier and then the image changes to show fish swimming in the water]

especially do like STEM subjects and you get to make heaps of good friends with people from all around Australia and like friendships last a long time.

[Image changes to show Wayne Cawthorne talking to the camera and text appears: Wayne Cawthorne, ASSETS 2016, Newcastle]

Wayne Cawthorne: ASSETS was just an amazing opportunity for me to be able to put myself forward

[Images move through of a female student soldering and then the image changes to show Wayne Cawthorne talking to the camera]

and to make me push myself to get where I want to be and I definitely would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for ASSETS.

[Image changes to show Maria Cawthorne talking to the camera and text appears: Maria Cawthorne, Wayne Cawthorne’s Mother]

Maria Cawthorne: ASSETS was the biggest thing that we’ve experienced and I’m glad he said yes.

[Images move through of groups of students doing experiments]

He just flew from that day.

[Images move through of a group of students on a pier hauling a pole up onto the pier, the pier, a group of students listening and then Maria Cawthorne talking to the camera]

Literally the metaphor of jumping on a plane and flying, he’s flown ever since he jumped on that first flight from Townsville to Newcastle and he hasn’t stopped flying.

[Images move through of students setting up experiments outside on the ground]

He became more aware of how he fit in to it in the sense of science. His people have been doing this for years and now he knows how and why.

[Image changes to show a facing view and then a side view of Tiahni Adamson talking to the camera and text appears: Tiahni Adamson, ASSETS 2010, Adelaide]

Tiahni Adamson: ASSETS really prompted me to find my father which was pretty incredible. So, I found him a few months after I finished ASSETS and yeah I’ve got a whole other half of my family now. So, that’s probably the best thing that I took away.

[Images move through of students working on an experiment, two females looking at a computer screen, a piece of electronic equipment being soldered and Tiahni Adamson talking]

Identifying with my culture was huge, being able to own that I’m an Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander person and that’s a huge part of who I am and how I connect with people and how I connect with the land and where I am and what I’m doing.

[Images move through of a female pointing at a computer screen display, a group of students, a female student talking, a group of students listening and Tiahni Adamson talking]

One of the main reasons that I came back to ASSETS as a mentor, seven years after finishing the programme was that I wanted to help create change in indigenous peoples and make sure that everyone has a strong connection to their identity and their culture, as well as furthering their education and being the best version of themselves through knowledge.

[Images move through of students looking at experiments, an aquarium, a fish swimming, a computer screen display and students listening]

Lowanna Paulson: One of the great things about ASSETS is that it really helps you to build your confidence, overcome your fears and get you more experience in working as a group and collaboratively with other people.

[Image changes to show a facing and then a side view of Lowanna Paulson talking and text appears: Lowanna Paulson, ASSETS 2017, Newcastle]

Meeting people from the universities and hearing their story and how they got there makes it a real possibility for you,

[Image changes to show a group of students listening]

makes you want to go there as well.

[Images move through of students looking down, a computer screen display and students working on an experiment]

Elgina Kaitap: You might be nervous but then as soon as you get into it you’ll realise that “Oh there’s nothing to be nervous about, this is one of the best things of my life”.

[Image changes to show Elgina Kaitap talking to the camera]

I was immediately having fun, like the second I got there.

[Images move through of a piece of coral being picked up with a pair of pliers, two females looking into a bank of aquariums, students putting on gloves and Maria Cawthorne talking to the camera]

Maria Cawthorne: I can guarantee you that, just looking at those children that graduated with my son back in 2016 and seeing the networking that they’ve done in that time, they are totally different people.

[Images move through of a group of students walking through some trees, a female student looking down, a student taking a photograph and Maria Cawthorne talking to the camera]

They’re not children that sit back and wait for things to happen. They go out and they start it, they investigate, they find ways and if that’s what you want your child to do then let them go.

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo appears and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

What is the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS)

Contact us

 
Your contact details

First name must be filled in

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.