We believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have extraordinary contributions to make to Australia across cultural, economic and scientific domains. Furthermore, we are committed to overcoming the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
CSIRO recognises the social and economic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is committed to overcoming the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
CSIRO initiated its Indigenous Engagement Strategy in July 2007. The strategy aims to achieve greater Indigenous participation in CSIRO's research and development agenda and activities. This participation will ensure that CSIRO benefits from the insights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can bring to the national challenges. It also provides a means of ensuring that CSIRO's activities are as effective as possible in contributing to the challenges and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The strategy addresses four areas: scientific opportunities, employment, education and outreach, and cultural learning and development.
We will engage in research and projects underpinned by a universally accepted ethical framework, that will impact on the quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and thereby all Australians. CSIRO conducts research for the benefit of the Australian community. The focus on employment, education and cultural awareness as well as investment in identifying key areas for research contribution to meet the needs of Indigenous communities will ensure that an appropriate proportion of this benefit accrues to Indigenous communities.
We will help to close the gap incrementally of reaching three per cent Indigenous employment nationally within CSIRO by 2018. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participation as employees in CSIRO is a powerful means of raising the contribution from and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from our research. It will also contribute to tackling the national issue of high unemployment within Indigenous communities.
Education and outreach
We will increase participation and education outcomes of Indigenous children and youth of school age level and beyond within science. Education outreach initiatives and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to undertake science programs will break down the barriers between CSIRO and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by helping to make science more accessible.
Cultural learning and development
We will broaden the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous issues and cultures within CSIRO. In order to ensure that CSIRO is a trusted research provider and an employer of choice by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the organisation must be able to demonstrate an understanding and empathy of Indigenous issues and values. A cultural learning program and an ethics framework that reflects, acknowledges and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples values are therefore high priorities.