The Steering Committee oversees the Young Indigenous Women's STEM Academy, by providing advice to guide and monitor the project.
The Steering Committee will ensure that KPIs are delivered, key governance arrangements are appropriate, and strategic intent, partnerships and sustainability goals are met. The Committee will also ensure the Academy is recalibrated over time to meet the needs of future workforce and industry.
Membership will include:
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander leaders in STEM education
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander leaders in STEM employment
- representatives from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet or their delegate
- representatives from CSIRO and CareerTrackers.
Meet our committee members
Elle Davidson, GHD'S Indigenous Engagement Leader, is one of NSW's only Aboriginal qualified Town Planners. Having worked with Local Government for seven years in Development Assessment and Urban Design, Elle transitioned into consultancy in 2015. Beginning with the Stakeholder Engagement and Social Sustainability team she worked across multidisciplinary projects.
In 2016, she began developing GHD's first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which outlines how GHD will contribute to reconciliation in Australia through their projects and operations. Elle is the Co-Chair of GHD's RAP Advisory Committee. After launching GHD's second RAP in 2018, Elle began focusing on providing Indigenous Engagement services to clients. She has led the development of an Aboriginal Cultural Values Interpretation Strategy for a Western Sydney Council, which will result in cultural celebrations in the built form. She is also working with a client to incorporate cultural values into a new building fit out.
Elle is passionate about increasing STEM awareness and career pathway opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She understands the rich contribution that traditional knowledge can make to the STEM industry and practice. Elle has been raising awareness amongst Indigenous students regarding the impact that STEM can have in giving back to community.
Gail Fulton joined CSIRO in 2010. Gail holds a Master of Law from the University of New South Wales and an MBA from the University of Melbourne. Since joining CSIRO Gail has worked in a number of senior legal and commercial roles across many parts of CSIRO working on complex high value commercial transactions. Most recently Gail has been the acting Director of CSIRO Services. CSIRO Services comprise of five distinct service businesses which connect society, communities, government and industries to science to improve innovation performance, collaboration and to solve some of the most pressing problems for Australia:
- Education and Outreach: delivering innovative learning opportunities to schools, teachers and the wider community and training the next generation of STEM professionals;
- CSIRO Publishing: building awareness and appreciation through scholarly and general publishing.
- SME Connect: facilitating and enabling innovation-driven partnerships through funding, support and resources.
- CSIRO Futures: translating science into strategy to help businesses and governments address major opportunities and challenges over the coming decades.
- Infrastructure Technologies: testing, assessment and consulting services to support the development of better building products and systems.
Prior to joining CSIRO Gail worked in technology services and online legal publishing, film and television production and distribution, specialist IP advisory services as well as a major Australian law firm.
Mark Henaway is a Birri Gubba Juru man from North Queensland, and an Associate Infrastructure at Aurecon. Mark project manages and designs Intelligent Transport System projects. He was one of the first Indigenous Australians to graduate with a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. He is an active participant in Aurecon's national Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, the Indigenous Australian Engineering Schools, and the recently established Engineers Australia Indigenous Engineering Group.
Marlee Hutton is a Bardi Jawi woman from One Arm Point, north of Broome in Western Australia. However, she grew up in Broome – about 200 kilometres to the southwest in Yawuru County.
Marlee can pinpoint when she worked out what she wanted to do when she grew up.
"When I was going up around 15 or 16, they proposed a gas hub nearby," she explains.
Marlee had spent a lot of time camping and fishing in her area, and she recognised the opportunities and also the threats posed by the gas facility. She wanted to be part of the discussion.
"I saw that there were a lot of gaps, that there weren’t people who could share and interpret science. I wanted to be a person who could act as a liaison between science and community."
Marlee's passion guided her to study science and get a job with the CSIRO. She has participated in a range of marine research projects from looking at starfish distributions to turtle diets.
Renee Phillips is a Saibai woman from Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait) with ties to Papuan New Guinea woman living and working on Ngunnawal/Ngambri country. She is a 4th year teacher of Science and Maths at a local public high school in Canberra.
"I am a co-founding member of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC) and I am currently studying a Masters in Indigenous Education at Macquarie University," says Renee.
"I am a proud advocate for seeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers dominating education but importantly calling for our own First Nation education system. We must recognise that we had and do have sophisticated and innovative educational systems that have enabled us to thrive and be the world’s longest continuing culture."
Chris is a Ngunnawal man from Canberra who has committed his career in the Commonwealth public sector to Indigenous affairs. He has worked across policy, program management, system support and HR areas, but education remains a particular passion. As Acting Senior Adviser in the Education and Youth Policy Branch at the National Indigenous Australians Agency, Chris has oversight of the implementation of the Commonwealth's $25 million Indigenous Girls’ STEM Academy. Chris spends his "spare" time with his 5 kids, enjoying all things rugby league and working with his community on revitalising their language.
"Education has the power to change lives and I see no more important policy area to work in than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education."
"I've seen the impact of high expectations and agency on empowerment, and what better way to empower Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women than by supporting and strengthening their educational aspirations."