Old Ways New Ways Program
This program aims to motivate Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to study science.
By linking Aboriginal cultural competency and the ‘Old Ways’ of Aboriginal science with the current or ‘New Ways’ of scientific knowledge by learning through hands on activities and peer supported learning and by providing and promoting role models and mentors, particularly Aboriginal scientists, science researchers, active community organisations and academics. The programme seeks to enhance confidence, leadership and communication skills; while promoting and providing positive role models who inspire the students to improved education pathways and science career opportunities. These workshops have Traditional Aboriginal knowledge as our foundation with Jason sharing his skills around Nyoongar scientific Knowledge, giving the students the opportunity to learn ancient techniques for bushland survival and explore how the ‘Old Ways’ have informed the ‘New Ways’ of contemporary science.
The program is now in its 3rd year and is supported by the Higher Education Partnerships and Participation Program (HEPPP).
Meet Our Team
Mr Jason Barrow works at Kurongkurl Katitjin, ECU’s centre for Indigenous Australian education and training. Jason works as the Aboriginal Tutorial and Mentoring Program Coordinator and as an ECU Cultural Ambassador; offering traditional Nyoongar cultural heritage talks, demonstrations, articles and events.
Dr Magda Wajrak works as a chemistry lecturer in ECU’s School of Science, with a focus on creative outreach initiatives for young people. Magda has designed workshops to encourage Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to explore science, in particular chemistry, through a range of hands on activities.
Caroline’s expertise in community engagement, exceptional organisational skills and cultural sensitivity makes her ideal person to set-up links with schools, engage with the elders and organise all the finer details of school visits.
Dr Kristina Lemson works as a biology lecturer in ECU’s School of Science, with a long history of undertaking accessible outreach initiatives. Kristina introduces students to a range of experiences, from the exciting world of microscopes to exploring environmental sustainability.