Emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists recognised

December 14, 2018

Bradley Moggridge, Tui Nolan, and Amy Searle are the inaugural recipients of the Australian Academy of Science Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Travelling Research Award.

The award recognises research primarily in the natural sciences by outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PhD students and early- and mid-career scientists. It also supports the expansion and growth of each scientist’s research networks and international knowledge exchange, through visits to relevant international centres of research.

The award is part of the Academy’s national effort to improve diversity and inclusion in the sciences.

The award will allow Mr Moggridge, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra, to visit New Zealand to learn how Maori culture has incorporated Indigenous knowledge and values into their water management practices.

“I’ll be looking at what advantages they have from some of their Treaty settlements. But also, from a legal point of view, from a cultural point of view, what methodologies they've considered to actually make their management of water benefit their tribe,” said Mr Moggridge.

Mr Tui Nolan, a PhD student at University of Technology Sydney, will use his award to visit the Alan Turing Institute in London, one of the world-leading centres in data science. There he will study computational methods that have applications in public health and education.

Mr Tui said he has a passion to share what he learns with the next generation of Indigenous scientists.

“Even more than motivation and pride it's really about responsibility. Encouraging the next generation of Indigenous students to study at university,” Mr Nolan said.

Amy Searle, a PhD student at the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute, is inspired by the impact her work will have for all Australians, especially Indigenous peoples.

“The new therapies that we're developing here might be able to be used in a more rural and remote setting as well. It's reaching Indigenous populations, which is a big driving force for my research,” Ms Searle said.

Amy Searle is unable to take up the research and travel component of her proposal but will be attending Science at the Shine Dome in 2019, the annual signature event of the Academy, where she will meet with internationally acclaimed scientists. All awardees are provided support to attend this event to network and attend the various workshops and activities.

This award recognises research primarily in the natural sciences, but also supports interdisciplinary and socio-cultural research that incorporates the social sciences and humanities. More information about the award.

Image of the Shine Dome in the above video by Stuart LindenmayerCC BY-SA 4.0

© 2019 Australian Academy of Science

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