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Indigenous Australians engineering for the future

Media release

Aboriginal students from around Australia have the opportunity to experience a week in the life of an engineering student as part of Curtin University’s third Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS).

The annual program, held each January, gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the opportunity to take part in a combination of engineering and industry networking activities, including hands-on laboratories, site visits, competitions and information seminars, to give them a taste of engineering studies and a potential career in the field.

IAESS Program Manager, Larissa Andrews, said Indigenous Australians were underrepresented in the engineering profession and the program provided a fantastic opportunity for students with demonstrated interest and academic potential, to pursue a career in engineering.

Engineers design and advise on drinking water, roads, hospitals, schools, radio, television, communication networks and all the fabric of modern society,” Ms Andrews said.

“Remote communities and regional Australia are in significant need of infrastructure development, a process that can only be undertaken with the contribution of engineering professionals educated in our universities.

“Engineers may be the most valuable resource these communities can have and it is important that Indigenous Australians are represented in our cohorts of graduating engineers.”

Ms Andrews said with the support and recommendation of their teachers, chosen students were fully financially supported to participate in the IAESS and received automatic eligibility for assistance in gaining entry to study engineering at Curtin through new study pathway programs.

“There is no fee for participating in the 2012 IAESS. Travel to and from Perth, as well as meals and accommodation for the duration of the program, are provided without charge to all participants,” she said.

“Participants also automatically become eligible for assistance in gaining entry into Curtin’s Bachelor of Engineering degree through a number of pre-engineering pathways, should they not meet the requirements for direct entry upon completing year 12.”

Ms Andrews said the objective of IAESS was to provide a challenging environment for Indigenous students to discover the benefits of the engineering profession.

“The IAESS provides a forum for students to meet engineering role models and gain insights into the exciting opportunities available within the engineering industry,” she said.

The IAESS is a five day, live-in program established by Engineering Aid Australia 15 years ago. It aims to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal students with ability and interest in science and mathematics to discover the benefits of a career in engineering, and to facilitate a supportive pathway into the engineering profession.

Engineering Aid Australia is a philanthropic organisation that provides engineers and related services to assist disadvantaged communities both in Australia and overseas. The Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School is their principal program on behalf of Indigenous Young Australians.

Applications for the IAESS close on 27 October 2011. For more information about the program and to discuss the application process, please contact: IAESS Program Manager, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University, on Tel: 08 9266 7884, Email:, or Visit:


Larissa Andrews, Curtin Engineering Outreach Coordinator
Tel: 08 9266 7884, Email:

Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mobile: 0401 103 755, Email: