Last week, during the National Reconciliation Week, our school along with the Faculty of Science hosted a lunch time panel, led by Rebecca Harcourt from Deadly Science and UNSW Business School .

Through the hour long session, we heard from Biripi woman Leanne Howard and Kamilaroi man Matt Taylor, both UNSW alumni, about their journey, the challenges they’ve faced, their successes and how we can all engage in reconciliation to honour Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander history and voices.

Photos from reconciliation lunch time panel

Leanne and Matt both spoke about how important it is for them to feel a sense of belonging and connection with their Indigenous heritage but also sharing their story with the community. Matt particularly touched on the support provided by UNSW, through Nura Gili’s various education programs such as the Winter School and Indigenous Pre-programs that inspired and showed him and other students that going to university is achievable for young Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders.   

On the topic of Western vs Non-western Sciences, they both said that we should look into how the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people interacted with the environment, their sustainable practices and perspectives. As after all, they have lived on this land longer than we have.

And the best way to help the Indigenous community is to get involved, either by participating in programs led by or supporting Indigenous Australians. Both Leanne and Matt have given back to the community that has supported them by helping, volunteering, and educating whenever the opportunity arises.

If you missed out on attending last week or would like to listen to the discussion again, you can view the recording here.

The slides with links to video and additional resources can be accessed below,

First Scientists, Reconciliation & Truth Telling. Provided by R. Harcourt


More information about the Nura Gili can be found here

Special thanks to Rebecca Harcourt and Dr. Damia Mawad for organising this enlightening event.