Way to encourage study wins award: ECU

Pleased  with  award:  Magdalena   Wajrak and Jason Barrow.
Pleased with award: Magdalena Wajrak and Jason Barrow.

A UNIVERSITY program to encourage indigenous students to study science has won a national award.

Edith Cowan University staff members Dr Magdalena Wajrak, Jason Barrow and Caroline Bishop won the Tribal Award for Excellence in Community Engagement at the 2015 Australian Tertiary Education Management /Campus Review Best Practice Awards for their community outreach project Old Ways, New Ways.

The program encourages and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary and high school students from WA communities to study science at upper secondary and tertiary levels. It combines Aboriginal scientific knowledge with western science to create culturally relevant, hands-on learning.

“Providing kids with a new lens by which to view the interface between their Aboriginal cultural heritage and contemporary western science encourages them to not only view their world differently, but to hold on to their heritage, as its worth is reinstated,” ECU cultural awareness officer Jason Barrow said.

The 2015 program will culminate in an interschool science event at ECU’s Joondalup Campus in November.