Making a difference at the top end

As an Associate, Alisha King (Cohort 2015) taught in the Northern Territory, where she developed her passion for Indigenous Education, something she continues in her new role with the CSIRO, where she works in the Indigenous STEM Education Project.

“Our objective is to develop resources and train teachers to deliver science inquiry lessons with a traditional knowledge focus. The program develops teacher capacity and confidence to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples perspectives. Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islander People are Australia’s first Scientists. From intricate knowledge of ecosystems to more complex development of resources, the abundance of scientific research supports that the scientific process of inquiry was thriving in Australia long before European contact.”

Working with CSIRO is a natural fit for Alisha following the Leadership Development Program, as “they do a lot of evaluation, they have a heavy focus on data and impact, as does Teach For Australia. The program has data backed results to show it improves engagement and achievement of Indigenous and Non-indigenous students.”

In this role, Alisha believes she can have an impact across many schools and that she can assist in building respect and understanding for Australia’s First Peoples.

“I would say that with my work for TFA at Nightcliff middle school was what interested me in Indigenous education, my first class was 45% Aboriginal and 5% Torres Strait Island students. I learnt so much from those students and felt motivated to be apart of a program which worked towards better outcomes for those students, and all students.”

She is excited about the CSIRO program and the potential it has to improve Indigenous students’ engagement in school and in particular in science. The program seeks to build a pipeline of passionate students who are equipped to share their knowledge with others and take up the jobs of the future.

Alisha champions her time as an Associate teaching in Darwin. “Teach For Australia harnessed my passion for Science and uncovered my passion for education.” Going through the program gave her exposure and understanding of some of the hard issues that education in Australia is facing. Alisha remains focussed and passionate about continuing to understand more about Educational Disadvantage and seeks to work in fields that continue the work started at Teach for Australia.

“I don’t think I’d be where I am today without Teach For Australia. The people I’ve met throughout the program are the most incredible, focused, dedicated people that I know.”

This story was originally published as part of Teach For Australia’s Ten Year Anniversary timeline. Explore the timeline here. You can find Alisha King’s story in the year 2018, as well as many more stories and milestones throughout the years.

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