Applications now open for Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy

Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, has announced that applications for the Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy are now open.

The Academy, which is co-managed by the CSIRO, aims to provide young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women across the country with tools to help them succeed in careers related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The program, which invites applications from young Indigenous women, has been designed to provide each student with individualised support from their dedicated Academic Coordinator, and offers long-term support from Year 8 through to tertiary studies and into STEM careers.

This includes a catalogue of STEM camps, extension activities, networking with industry, and academic professionals, as well as a safe space for exploration of their own cultural journey, the CSIRO said.

The Academy is an Indigenous co-designed and led program. Currently, 14 of 17 CSIRO Academy team members identify as First Nations women, including those in senior leadership roles.

The Academy is managed by the CSIRO in partnership with Career Trackers and is funded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

Kim Dyball, who manages the Academy, noted its “laser-sharp” STEM education focus, and recognises and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s first scientists, first engineers, and first mathematicians.

“The Academy supports the young women to connect their interests and passions with a STEM career and helps them identify a pathway to that career,” she said.

“Academy students are inspired to dream big and create new pathways for themselves. Their Academic Coordinators facilitate journeys by creating local networks, developing peer support, nurturing interests and providing support to access various STEM opportunities.

“Finally, by connecting the young women to other young women with similar interests, they know they are not alone, and it helps them develop a peer support network which will become their professional support network as they build their STEM careers.”