Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been inspired to pursue science careers with a visit to JCU’s Orpheus Island Research Station.
Deadly Science Getaway director and JCU marine biologist Blanche D’Anastasi said the youngsters, aged 13-18, come from communities in Cape York and Palm Island. She said the idea was to inspire Indigenous women to lead change through science.
“We’re working with young, strong, smart Indigenous women to illuminate pathways to inspiring careers, through practising science in wild, remote locations, surrounded by strong female Indigenous leaders, scientists and educators,” she said.
The project is a joint venture between James Cook University and Transition Support Services, Education Queensland. The group of 17 young women went to JCU’s Orpheus Island Research Station on the 9th of September 2017 for two days.
The Deadly Science women spent time with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders sharing knowledge about reef health, the traditional culture and ecology of plants, and traditional art techniques.
Ms D’Anastasi said she was humbled by the impact of Deadly Science Getaway.
“Even though it’s only a tiny window of two days, we see these girls come out feeling really happy. We see their attitude and self-confidence go up. Most importantly, we are in our sixth year now and we are seeing Deadly Science women enter amazing careers.”
Ms D’Anastasi said the project needs assistance to continue supporting Indigenous women to pursue their dream careers, and she’s calling on the community for support.
“We are externally funded. We are seeking short and long-term funding partners who would love to become a part of the Deadly Science Getaway story, supporting strong, smart Indigenous women to enter their dream careers. I would encourage people to get in touch if they are keen to become a part of this extraordinary story,” she said.