Recruiting Indigenous engineers

In 2014, only 53 Indigenous students in Australia gained an engineering degree.

Engineering requires a high ATAR, with particularly rigorous results in maths. Indigenous schoolchildren already face many barriers to education. It’s not only an equity issue, but a waste of potential talent.

To help remedy this, Monash, Melbourne, Swinburne and RMIT universities, sponsored by Google, BP and engineering firm Arup, created the inaugural Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School, or VIEWS. In July, a group of year 11 and 12 Indigenous students from across Australia visited all four universities over five days.

The students learnt about different pathways into engineering, talked to Indigenous engineers and engineering students, and discovered what engineers do and how they improve lives. For Monash, VIEWS forms part of our Reconciliation Action Plan, which aims to advance the education, research and employment aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The winter school program is important for Indigenous students who don’t achieve a high enough ATAR, so they understand there are other pathways into engineering,” said Jordan Carter, a final-year chemical engineering student at Monash, who entered via an alternative pathway.