Be Brave. Make Change.
The WILD Program acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land on which we live, work and gather and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s ongoing connection to Country and make a commitment to contributing to reconciliation in Australia.
The WILD Program recognises and respects Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s long standing scientific knowledge and traditions. We believe that Australia’s STEM and innovation sectors have an opportunity to learn and benefit from scientific knowledge, traditions and methods that have been practiced and transmitted from one generation to the next.
There is an opportunity to work with and be led by our First Nation’s people and their knowledge of sciences including sophisticated knowledge of meteorology and seasons, astronomy, natural resource management, and bush food, medicine and healing, to deliver innovations that may be essential for our future survival.
However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are under-represented in the STEM sector, even from university level, where 0.5% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a STEM qualification compared to 5% of the non-Indigenous population. Furthermore, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly women, have disproportionately low representation in formal leadership positions.
We are committed to ensuring that Indigenous STEM-qualified women can access and participate in the WILD Program. We seek to partner with organisations and individuals with a shared commitment to improve the representation of indigenous in STEM leadership, and who can help us access appropriate networks and communities.
As part of our ongoing commitment to reconciliation, the WILD Program has chosen to partner with @the torch. The Torch, a not for profit organisation, provides art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria.
In recognition of the scientific methods that have been practiced and transmitted from one generation to the next, we have chosen to licence the artwork ‘Four Boomerangs’ 2022, created by Leanne Monks (Palawa). The artwork shows ‘four boomerangs with petroglyphs carved on them representing the knowledge that the Elders passed on to us.’