The Institute was proud to be a part of the Kuwa Circles program that is opening new doors for young First Nations women seeking careers in STEM. In November 2022, 25 young women graduated in a special ceremony at Government House in Adelaide. This group of Junior participants were supported by 10 Senior participants employed as mentors.
The Kuwa (the Kaurna word for Crow) Circles program used practical workshops to connect participants to a different view of possible STEM careers. The workshops included STEM concepts such as the aerodynamics of boomerangs and flying drones, using drones to collect and record data and editing video footage.
The Institute’s role was to design and facilitate the ‘heart’ of the program. Our Connection Circles created a safe and enabling space for the participants and mentors to learn, yarn and work together. This proved essential in developing the relationships and teamwork skills needed for the project work later in the program.
The Kuwa Circles Program is a unique, comfortable, fun and safe place to learn – Kuwa Circles Mentor
SSI’s Connections Circles also explored the connections between Indigenous Knowledges and STEM. This was a key component to build confidence and belief in the women that they could pursue a career in STEM.
I feel like I enjoyed doing STEM things a lot more…because of the way that we did it …it was just really nice to know that you could do STEM in different ways – Kuwa Circles participant
The partners worked together in the design and delivery of the program to bring together practical STEM opportunities, Indigenous Knowledges and connection to leading employment experts to overcome barriers and help them to realise their career visions.
I feel like I have developed more self-confidence and self-growth and it has encouraged me to try new things and not to be afraid of trying STEM things – Kuwa Circles participant
Kuwa Circles is a collaboration between the Adelaide Crows Foundation, the Stronger Smarter Institute, IPA Recruitment Agency, the Tjindu Foundation and Tauondi Aboriginal Community College.
To find out more about the Stronger Smarter Institute partnership approach, please visit our website.