Young Indigenous students get a taste of engineering

Young Indigenous students from across Australia are this week benefitting from an interactive engineering camp in Adelaide, as part of a partnership between Santos and the University of Adelaide.

A total of 29 students, including 18 female students – from Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia – are taking part in the Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School.

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher said Santos is passionate about helping to build a better future for young Indigenous people through educational opportunities.

"As an engineer myself, I am pleased this partnership will help create training and employment opportunities for Indigenous students and encourage them to develop an interest and passion for engineering so they can forge a career in our industry," Mr Gallagher said.

"Hopefully some of these bright young students will one day come and work at Santos!"

The word Karnkanthi means “lifting up” in the Kaurna language. The event – being held during NAIDOC Week – promotes the benefits of a career in engineering to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 11 and 12.

The students are undertaking a diverse engineering program, involving visits to the University of Adelaide and engineering businesses, sports engineering with elite sports people, and coding activities with robots. Today's structural engineering workshop of Adelaide Oval will also include a roof climb experience.

"We've been excited about the strong interest shown in the program from young Indigenous people right across Australia. This camp will enable young people to realise their potential," said Professor Shane Hearn, Dean of Indigenous Research & Education at the University of Adelaide.

"We're especially pleased with the number of young Indigenous women who are keen to learn more about engineering. This week provides an opportunity to express their creativity, and consider a career in engineering. This bodes well for their future career aspirations and their pathways to further education," Professor Hearn said.

The Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School will run until this Friday, 13 July.

As well as the five-day camp, the joint program between the University of Adelaide and Santos will see the establishment of:

  • Scholarship opportunities for students who have participated in the camp, to enter into a longer education program.
  • An online engineering module for Indigenous students.
  • Opportunities for Indigenous secondary school students to participate in “Ingenuity”, the major annual expo showcasing university student projects and the real-life applications of STEM, open to the public at the Adelaide Convention Centre on the 23 October this year.