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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Indigenous Girls' STEM Academy

The Indigenous Girls’ STEM Academy (the Academy) is a $25 million, ten-year national investment in high-achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls who aspire to pursue education and careers in STEM professions. The Academy will foster a generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female leaders in STEM.

The Academy operates nationally, with locations chosen strategically according to populations, language groups and maximising access for high-achieving, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women and girls.

The Academy comprises a Student Initiative, led by CSIRO in consortium with CareerTrackers, and a Teachers of STEM Initiative, led by the Stronger Smarter Institute (SSI).

Australian Government National Indigenous Australians Agency Logo - $25 million program over 10-years 2018-2028. Graphic image shows two streams. The Student Initiative and the Teachers of STEM Initiative. Student Initiative - $20 million, Logo: CSIRO, The CSIRO in consortium with CareerTrackers will deliver the Academy’s Student Initiative, providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women in secondary school, Graphic line that shows partnership with CareerTrackers, Logo: CareerTrackers, In consortium with CSIRO, CareerTrackers will provide Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women with pre-University support then provide University engagement support and services for post year 12 students. Teachers of Stem Initiative - $5 million, Logo: Stronger Smarter Institute, The Stronger Smarter Institute will deliver the Academy’s Teachers of STEM Initiative. The Jardibirrijiba and Jardi Dadarrinyi programs aim to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM specialised female educators. The Jarlarla program provides Professional Development for all educators with a focus on Indigenous Knowledges in STEM.

Indigenous Steering Committees

The Academy and its two initiatives, the Student Initiative (delivered by (CSIRO) and the Teachers of STEM Initiative (delivered by SSI) have Indigenous-led steering committees that advise, guide and monitor implementation. The committees are made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts in Education, STEM fields and Indigenous Research methodologies.

Student Initiative

CSIRO’s Student Initiative will support up to 1000 high-achieving Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young women from high school, through university, and into graduate careers.

The Student Initiative provides culturally tailored support, internships and work experience opportunities. For more information, please visit CSIRO Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy.

CSIRO logo

CSIRO Student Initiative


Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12

Academic Coordinator and learning plan

Assemblies and online learning opportunities

STEM camps




CREST project


Work placement




Career Trackers 


(High school students
Year 8-12)

New university student

Returning university student

Leadership Development institute

Program orientation


Summer Program Day

Summer kick-off workshop


Winter Program Day

Winter kick-off workshop


Career planning


CV writing


Interview preparation


Career awareness workshop



Industry mentor meet and greet



Exam study skills session



Teachers of STEM Initiative

SSI’s Teachers of STEM Initiative will support the training of up to 100 new, STEM specialised, female, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander teachers (Jardibirrijba and Jardi Dadarrinyi)

The Teachers of STEM Initiative will also support targeted Professional Development for teachers to support all students to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges in STEM. For more information, please visit Stronger Smarter Institute Teachers in STEM.

The Teachers of STEM Initiative program names are drawn from Waanyi Garrawa Language.

make strong
Jardi Dadarrinyi
standing strong, straight,
blaze up, catch fire, ignite


Stronger Smarter Institute

Teacher of STEM Initiative


Jardi Dadarrinyi


Growing the female Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander STEM teaching workforce

Strengthening STEM teaching

Support to complete STEM teaching qualifications, including:

  • Development of a High Expectations Relationship Personal Development Plan.
  • Mentoring, collaboration and networking opportunities.
  • Introduction to Indigenous pedagogies like Yarning Circle.
  • Information about the relevant STEM specific teacher courses and universities offering culturally sensitive courses.
  • Information about other relevant student support and financial services.

Networking and professional practice development, including:

  • Peer collaboration and networking opportunities.
  • Exposure to Indigenous Knowledge experts and other STEM educators.
  • Ideas and strategies to incorporate culturally-responsive curriculums into lesson planning.
  • Ideas and strategies to improve the STEM educational experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Support for participants to bring their own STEM Indigenous Knowledge to the classroom.

A Professional Development program that aims to improve all teacher’s knowledge and understanding of:

  • strengths-based approaches to teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners
  • Indigenous female learners engagement and achievement in STEM
  • Indigenous Knowledges in STEM and their connection to the Australian Curriculum
  • how to develop and use culturally proficient classroom resources
  • STEM inquiry-based learning suited to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders learners.

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