CSIRO believes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have extraordinary contributions to make in cultural, economic and scientific domains; incorporating Indigenous knowledge of ecological and social systems is vital to the achievement of sustainable development.
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have longstanding scientific knowledge traditions. These traditions have developed knowledge about the world through observation using all the senses; through prediction and hypothesis; through testing (designing, making and appraising); and through making generalisations within specific contexts.
These scientific methods have been practiced and transmitted from one generation to the next and contribute to particular ways of knowing the world that are unique as well as complementary to western scientific knowledge. The inter-generational transfer of these knowledges relies on cultural practices including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, story, ritual, dance and song.
A deep respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practices and knowledges underpins the philosophy and practice of the Indigenous STEM Education Project. Recognition of traditional contexts for technologies and concepts, their application in the past, present, and future, including supporting modern STEM career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, reaffirms the ingenuity and creativity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems.
The Indigenous STEM Education Project team acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands with whom this project is collaborating and their vibrant living cultures and knowledge systems. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and thank all community members who are providing the leadership to ensure meaningful and effective engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for the six distinct but complementary STEM education programs that make up this project.