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Last week we took time out and went on country with Marissa Verma to learn more about Noongar culture.

Staff and Students at Yagan Memorial Park

MRIWA Staff and PhD Scholars with Marissa at Yagan Memorial Park

It is easy to think it is not important to consider cultural awareness matters when our role is to foster and promote minerals research.

However the implementation of that research happens in communities where there are First Nation people, whether that is in WA or overseas.

When we interact in cross cultural situations, a lack of awareness can lead to inadequate communication and bad or poor decisions.

Over two thirds of MRIWA’s PhD Scholars are from overseas, who have little to no knowledge of Noongar culture.

MRIWA wants to not only support our PhD Scholars to excel at their studies, but to be future leaders who challenge how things are done technically as well as have an awareness of how their actions and decisions can impact on those in the communities in which they live and work.

Having awareness can reduce the chances of making bad decisions and increases the chance of us making more insightful, considered decisions.

The on country trip with Bindi Bindi Dreaming team focused on connecting participants to Noongar country by way of sharing:

  • cultural information on the Noongar people, seasons and lifestyle;
  • history and knowledge of Yagan, a Noongar warrior and protector; and
  • an art and yarning activity during which everyone got a chance to ask questions and talk about things they were curious about.

Each of us, regardless of our role, can think about how we can do things differently and take action to create positive opportunities going forward for First Nations people in the communities in which we live and work.

MRIWA last year developed a Multicultural Plan to ensure we have an inclusive workplace and have culturally responsive policies, programs and services.

As part of our broader diversity strategy, we are currently consulting on the need for an indigenous scholarships related to minerals research.

Please contact us if you would like to participate in this consultation. Feedback is due by 1 May 2021.

Subscribe to our enewsletter for announcements relating to our Education Program and upcoming scholarship opportunities.

Page was last reviewed 31 March 2021

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