With the support of the BHP Billiton Foundation, this new education project is aimed at increasing participation and achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). There are six program elements to the project, which caters to the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as they progress through primary, secondary and tertiary education, and into employment.
This project is funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation and managed by CSIRO. CSIRO and BHP Billiton Foundation believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have extraordinary contributions to make across cultural, economic and scientific domains.
The project provides supported pathways that aim to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in STEM-related professions. Recognising the fundamental importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity in student achievement, a strong cultural, as well as a rigorous academic focus, is guiding the development, implementation and evaluation of the project.
The overarching project goal is to provide supported pathways that improve the participation and achievement of Indigenous students in STEM subjects. The aspirational goal is to increase Indigenous representation in STEM-related professions.
The rationale and meaning behind the distinct visual identity for the project is based on Indigenous culture and the journey of learning.
The Steering Committee is designed to support effective oversight of the project, by providing advice to guide and monitor the project, both to the project team and to the funding body, the BHP Billiton Foundation. This will help to ensure that KPIs are delivered, that key governance arrangements are appropriate, and that strategic intent, partnerships and sustainability goals are met.
The project was launched by the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, Minister for Industry and Science, in Canberra on 30 September 2014 with senior representatives from BHP Billiton and CSIRO, along with well-known and respected Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders.