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Event date and time

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017
5.00pm - 7.00pm


CSIRO Discovery Centre
Clunies Ross St Canberra ACT

Connecting culture and mathematics

Our annual Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture reflects on and celebrates the contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made and continue to make in addressing the national science agenda.

The 2017 Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Chris Matthews, chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA) and winner of the STEM Professional Award at the inaugural Indigenous STEM Awards in 2016.

The vision of ATSIMA is that all Indigenous learners will be successful in mathematics. Dr Chris Matthews will outline thinking around this vision which is centred on connecting culture and mathematics. Dr Matthews will explore general perceptions around mathematics and culture gathered from participants (mainly teachers) in numerous professional development workshops and published articles.

From these perceptions, Dr Matthews will explain the connection between culture and mathematics, and outline the development of the Goompi Model that uses this connection to create different ways of teaching mathematics to Indigenous students. He will also provide examples of this work i.e. new ways of teaching mathematics from Indigenous STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Camps in New South Wales, STEM Think Tank in South Australia and Yirrkala Community School in Arnhemland, Northern Territory.

NOTE: This event takes place on 16 Aug 2017 from 5.00pm to 7.00pm.

We are aware that the date is showing incorrectly below and are working to resolve the problem.


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Dates and Times

Event date: Aug 2017

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017

CSIRO Discovery Centre

5.00pm - 7.00pm

Clunies Ross St Canberra ACT
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About the speaker

Dr Christopher Matthews is from the Quandamooka people of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) in Queensland. Chris has a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Griffith University and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Griffith School of Environment. He has undertaken numerous research projects in Applied Mathematics and maths education.

Dr Matthews is currently the Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA), a non-profit organisation that aims to improve educational outcomes in mathematics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Chris is passionate about teaching maths and science to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support their Indigenous identity and encourage more Indigenous people to work in STEM professions.

About Jack Cusack

Dr Christopher Matthews

Jack Cusack was an expert botanist who made an extremely valuable contribution to CSIRO's research effort in the north over three decades. He was CSIRO's longest serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee, working out of the Darwin labs as a technical officer from the early 1970s until his retirement in 2002. Jack continued to maintain his association with CSIRO following his retirement, first as an Honorary Fellow, and then as a consultant.

Jack was born in Walpiri country, 700 kilometres south-west of Darwin in 1935, but was taken from his family when he was a young boy and raised in a mission on the Tiwi Islands, 80 kilometres north of Darwin. He was highly respected and admired by all who knew him, and a role model for both Aboriginal and non-Indigenous people throughout the Top End. Jack's keen eye, extensive knowledge, and expert bushmanship helped train several generations of scientists and we continue to recognise his contributions to this day.

For more information, we encourage you to attend the Jack Cusack Memorial Lecture.

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