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2017 Jack Cusack Memorial lecture

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.