Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has bestowed more than half a million dollars to the University of Wollongong (UOW) to enable more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue a future in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
The CSIRO Indigenous STEM Scholarship was first established in 2019 with the help of a $30,000 gift from the organisation to support two Indigenous STEM students throughout their studies.
The scholarship will now be awarded in perpetuity following a further $500,000 gift from CSIRO.
This is part of CSIRO’s commitment in supporting the pipeline of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent which saw the agency contribute more than $5M to Indigenous STEM Scholarships this year.
The partnership between CSIRO and UOW will provide one new scholar with $5000 each year for the duration of their degree.
Zara Button, who is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours), was the 2021 recipient of the CSIRO Indigenous STEM Scholarship and said the financial support of the scholarship has enabled her to focus on her future career.
“I would like to thank the CSIRO for donating generous amounts of money to Indigenous STEM students like me. The money goes a long way in supporting my studies and encouraging me to keep going with it,” Button said.
Dr Chris Bourke, a Gamillaroi man and Director of Indigenous Science and Engagement at CSIRO, said the organisation was delighted to be providing practical support to nurture the next generation of Indigenous STEM superstars.
“Growing an Indigenous STEM pipeline will enable the science and technology sector,” said Dr Bourke.
“CSIRO in particular, to engage with Indigenous talent, embed Indigenous knowledge and expertise and to foster thriving careers in science and research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,”