Meet Our Speakers

Jessica Staines

Director of Koori Curriculum, and Co-Founder of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Collective

Garry Purchase

Artist in Residence, Winner Tony Donovan Award at Reconciliation Exhibition Gosford Regional Art Gallery in 2014 and 2016.

Uncle Noel Butler

Budawang Elder from the Yuin Nation and owner of the well-known property, Jamanee Gunya.

Prof Chris Matthews

PhD applied mathematics, Senior curriculum officer for ACARA, Associate Dean (Indigenous leadership) Science Faculty UTS, Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).

Courtney Glazebrook
Director Towri MACS
A Multifunctional Aboriginal Children's Service in NSW

Corey Tutt
Founder Deadly Science,
NSW Young Australian of the Year 2020, the 2019 CSIRO Indigenous STEM champion and more.

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Creative Director of Multiverse, and Co-Founder of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Collective

Jasmine Seymour

Author illustrator of 'Baby Business' and 'Cooee Mittigar' published 2019,  Primary School Teacher & Artist

Kirsty Piendl

Explore & Develop Annandale team member

Donalee Collins
Early Childhood Teacher - Gosford Preschool

Kate Mitchell

Managing director of Australia's first carbon neutral accommodation provider, the Comfort Inn City Centre, 'STEAM Dreaming' Event Organiser

Jo Garland

Director of The Crescent in Annandale

Benny Thatcher

Artist behind "Benny Time", Senior Educator at Kelly’s Place Children's Centre who were recipients of the Anti-Bias Award as well as finalists in Narragunnawali awards.

Cath Gillespie

Early Childhood Teacher and Education Leader - Evans Head Preschool

Kirby Barker

Early Childhood Educator and Cultural Advisor - Evans Head Preschool & Woodburn Preschools

Sue Motley

Director and Early Childhood Teacher at Armidale CommunityPreschool

About the Aboriginal S.T.E.M. Online Summit


Date: June 29th to July 3rd 2020.

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are ancient knowledge. Because we know that Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest living culture in the world, the sciences, technologies, engineering and maths knowledge and practices are the most developed and sophisticated on this planet. The Summit this year is festooned with an incredible line up of Aboriginal experts in STEM.

The presentations will include:

* Ancient Aboriginal technologies in current everyday practice
* Aboriginal knowledge as the way to combat climate change
* Aboriginal mapping of Country with children using robotics and drones
* Maths through kinship systems
* Small world approaches to big world stories
* Aboriginal astronomy
* Bush tucker
* Bush medicine
* Aboriginal early childhood practitioners’ panel
* Collective cultural yarning


All this and more!


We have aimed to make this Summit our most valuable online resource to date!

Meet Your Hosts

Jessica Staines and Dr Red Ruby Scarlet - Aboriginal STEM Online Summit.


The presentations will leave you with lots of ideas and practical ways to embed Aboriginal approaches to STEM in your service.


You’ll leave with a sense of empowerment to ensure that you are bringing Aboriginal knowledge and practices into every corner of your program.

Come join our beautiful growing community for an unforgettable professional learning experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does my ticket include?

  • Individual tickets provided access to all Summit sessions for 1 user/viewing ONLY.
  • Group tickets provide access to all Summit sessions for 5 or more viewers.
  • Each view will be invited to join our Private Facebook Group and have access to all the Summit sessions until 5pm AEST 10th July 2020. At this time the sessions will be archived and the Facebook Group closed.


Does the Aboriginal STEM Summit have a physical event as well?


No, the Aboriginal STEM Summit is an entirely online + digital event.


Is the Aboriginal STEM Summit replacing the Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference?


Yes, for 2020 the Aboriginal STEM Summit will replace the Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference.


How do I access the Aboriginal STEM Summit sessions?


Access to all our Aboriginal STEM Summit sessions will be via a private Facebook Group. Once you purchase your ticket to the Summit you will receive an email which a link to our private group.


If you do not use Facebook, or would prefer to access the Summit sessions another way, please contact us on so we can arrange access via an alternate platform. Note, if you do not use Facebook you will not be able to participate in our LIVE watch parties and speaker Q&A sessions.


Will there be Q&A sessions with the speakers during the Summit?


Yes, speakers will be online at set times for Q&A during the Aboriginal STEM Summit.


In addition, Jessica Staines and Dr Red Ruby Live will be LIVE every evening during the official 5 day Summit period.


How many people can use a group ticket?


A group ticket is best for 5 or more educators to access the summit, but has no limit - you can have unlimited team members join!


How do I access the presentations?


All speaker sessions will be accessible via our Private Facebook Group here.


If you do not have a personal Facebook profile, please email us at


Is the Summit NESA Accredited?


Yes. The Summit will include a survey to all participants which MUST be completed for us to record your attendance with NESA.


For all NESA accreditation, please wait until your survey link has been to supplied to provide us with your NESA number.


If you fail to complete our survey, no attendance will be recorded with NESA.


Are the Summit Sessions recorded?


Yes, all sessions will be recorded and available to watch until the 10th July 2020. After this time access to the recordings will be closed.


How many NESA hours will I be accreddited for at completion?


The Aboriginal STEM Online Summit will provide 20 hours professional development and is accredited by NESA.


How long is each session ?


Each session will run for approximately 45mins to an hour.


Do I need to attend the session LIVE or can I watch anytime?


Once released, each session will remain available up until the 10th of July. You do not need to attend the sessions LIVE. Each session is pre-recorded and available as videos to watch up until the 10th of July. The exception to this are the LIVE Q&A sessions at 5pm each day, howev

Aboriginal S.T.E.M. Summit Program

To download a PDF of the program click here.

  • Day One - June 29th
  • Day Two - June 30th
  • Day Three - July 1st
  • Day Four - July 2nd
  • Day Five - July 3rd

Day One - June 29th 2020





Session 1: Summit Open

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Session 2: "Embedding Aboriginal Perspectives Through Music"

Presenters: Candice Lorrae and Jane Nicholas


About Candice:

Candice Lorrae was born in Darwin and has Jawoyn and Thursday Island heritage. Her early years were spent in Darwin before relocating with her mother to Perth at the age of 7. She grew up with a passion for music. At the age of 14 she recorded her first R&B single with the ARIA Award winning co-writer and Producer Audius Mtawarira. Since then Candice has performed with many bands and highly valued Indigenous artists. She has released singles and albums both solo and in collaborations. She is highly experienced in many aspects of the music industry, as a vocalist, instrumentalist, dancer, teacher, manager, producer, teacher and mentor. In 2009 she became a featured singer on NITV‟s popular childrens show “Waabiny Time” and was part of the NITV “Chocolate Martini” production. Candice is the founder and creator of The Merindas. This is an indigenous Australian pop duo, comprising Candice Lorrae and Kristel Kickett. The group met in Western Australia and relocated to Melbourne, Victoria to focus on their musical careers. The Merindas' live performances feature choreographed dance, projected video, unique wardrobe designed by the group, additional dancers and a DJ. Their music combines R'n'B and soul with various genres of electronic and dance music and their lyrics combine English and Noongar language.


About Jane


Session 3: "STEM in the classroom and incorporating Bush-tucker"

Presenters: Cath Gillespie & Kirby Barker


About Cath:

Cath Gillespie has been a teacher and educator for over 20 years. She lives and plays in the coastal town of Evans Head-Bandjalang land, in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Cath is the Early Childhood teacher and educational leader at Evans Head Preschool which has been community-based for 45 years. The philosophy of the service strives to embed an ecological identity, where children are inspired to care for land and country.


We take our knowledge and learning from close consultation with the Elders, rangers and custodians of the land.


An opportunity to learn more about nature pedagogy from Claire Warden inspired us to take a small class of children to learn and connect to country.

This opportunity has been the most rewarding experience of Cath’s career to date.


About Kirby

Kirby Barker is an Early Childhood Educator and Cultural advisor at both Evans Head and Woodburn Preschools.


Kirby is a custodian and traditional owner of the Bandjalang people of the greater Bundjalung nation of Northern New South Wales.


Sharing Bandjalang stories and embedding a Bandjalang language program has seen children families and educators connecting with country on a deeper level than before - therefore caring for the country like never before.


Collaborating with elders in the community to appropriately teach, share and walk alongside each other as we play, learn and care for country.

Session 4: "The Buzz about Bee's"

Presenters: Kirsty Piendl


About Kirsty:

Kirsty Piendl has recently graduated as an Early Childhood Teacher, having worked in Early Childhood for 10 years. She has been a member of the Explore & Develop Annandale team for two years, this year working with two-year-old children.


Kirsty believes in empowering children and you will regularly see her, and a child using a tool to make or fix something or investigating how to build something. She is a social justice warrior and an advocate for children using their voice to make change in their world.

Session 5: "Bush Classroom"

Presenters: Donalee Collins


About Donalee:

My name is Donnalee Collins. I am a proud Wiradjuri women and I spent much of my childhood growing up in Cobar (Western NSW ) with my parents, grandparents and great grandparents calling Cobar home. I have fond memories of a childhood filled with going out into the bush to collect quandong fruit, wild mushroom and to catch yabbies with a stick and piece of string. This time established my connection with country which I still have an indescribable connection with today. My family where to later venture to a small property just outside of Dubbo (Central NSW), which I stayed until adulthood.


I am an early childhood teacher and have been involved with the industry for almost 26 years. I have worked in rural NSW as well as in an international preschool in Singapore for several years. I now find myself on the beautiful central coast, Darkinjung country! I have lived here for the past 12 years and am happily raising my three children and working in this beautiful area of Australia. My heart however will always be back home on red earth country.




Session 6: LIVE Q&A

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Day Two - June 30th 2020





Session 1: Day Two Open

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Session 2: "Sky Stories & Astronomy"

Presenters: Garry Purchase


About Garry:

Garry is a proud Aboriginal man of Dharawal descent. He grew up in Sydney's Eastern suburbs in Botany and was raised amongst the Aboriginal community of La Perouse.Garry is a member of the Timbery family of which there are many respected members.


Garry has always had a creative passion and was a musician for many years playing drums in a few Sydney rock bands. Artistically, he first started painting after he moved to the Central Coast with his wife and 3 sons in 2013.

His style is a more modern take on traditional Aboriginal art, steering away from the common dreamtime stories and focusing on his own personal journey, experiences and social issues that pushes a lot of creative boundaries as he stretches the limits of what Aboriginal art can be.


Garry has a passion for education and together with his team travel around the country offering art, culture and dance workshops in schools and early childhood centres. Garry is a proud artist in residence and speaker at the annual Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference.

He has a very loyal fan base and has thousands of followers on social media and his works have attracted a lot of attention and have also earned him many awards. He took out the major first prize Tony Donovan Award at Reconciliation Exhibition at Gosford Regional Gallery in both 2014 and 2016.



Session 3: "Baby Business"

Presenters: Jasmine Seymour


About Jasmine:

Jasmine Seymour is a Darug woman belonging to the Boorooberongal clan of the Hawkesbury area of New South Wales. Jasmine is a descendant of the Aboriginal community who were devastated by colonists soon after the 1788 invasion. She is fifth generation great-granddaughter of Maria Lock, daughter of Boorooberongal chief, Yellamundi. Her family has lived on Darug Country since before colonisation. Jasmine Seymour is a primary school teacher and artist. She is the mother of two boys, a member of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation and Secretary of the Da Murrytoola (the local branch of the Aboriginal Education Consultation Group). Jasmine Seymour is involved with the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation and historian Grace Karskens, in a research project, with the State Library of NSW, that is mapping and identifying the Darug names for places along the Dyrubbin River. Jasmine is also the author illustrator of Baby Business and Cooee Mittigar, published in 2019 by Magabala Books.



Session 4: "Aboriginal STEM - A non-Indigenous Perspective"

Presenters: Sue Motley


About Sue:

Sue Motley is the Director and Early Childhood Teacher at Armidale CommunityPreschool in regional New South Wales. Her journey is one of a life long learner, and she will share some ideas on embedding Aboriginal Culture from a non-indigenous perspective. Sue worked at Baya Gawiy Early Learning Centre (Fitzroy Crossing) in 2019, and this experience enriched her understanding of country, culture and issues in remote communities







Session 5: LIVE Q&A

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


Special Guests: TBC

Day Three - July 1st 2020





Session 1: Summit Open

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Session 2: "STEM Based Learning in Early Childhood"

Presenters: Courtney Glazebrook


About Courtney:

Courtney is the Director of Towri MACS, a Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Service in NSW. Courtney facilitates a variety of different programs that focus on a highly integrated, holistic model of care and education for Indigenous children and has travelled throughout the Northern Territory undertaking research to inform government policies surrounding issues relating to ‘Closing The Gap’ and early childhood. Most recently, Courtney is working in partnership with Charles Sturt University to implement a research study site at Towri, gathering data on STEM learning in and across different cultural contexts. Courtney has a wealth of experience engaging with Aboriginal families and communities and building rich, inclusive and culturally appropriate learning environment for children in the early years, recently being named a finalist in 2018 HESTA awards for building inclusion and awarded Young Business Professional of the Year for 2018 for her work in recognising and advancing the self determination rights of our First Nation peoples.


Session 3: "The Science Behind Yarning Circles and STEAM DREAMING"

Presenters: Kate Mitchell - Q&A session with host Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


About Kate Mitchell:

Kate is the Managing Director of the Comfort Inn City Centre Armidale, Australia's first accommodation provider to be certified carbon neutral, event organiser for Armidale's STEAM Dreaming conference, and Manager for the Minnie Barn restaurant, working with Armidale's Northern Iraqi refugees to bring an authentic Ezidi menu to the region.
Passionate about using her understanding of Indigenous wisdom to empower these cultures and initiate healing of the earth and each other, Kate refuses to think inside the box, always empowers creativity, and is determined to break down the constructs of the typical Western culture economic growth business model.


Session 4: "Discovering our DeadlyScience"

Presenters: Corey Tutt


About Corey:

Corey Tutt is a proud Kamilaroi man who established Deadly Science, an organisation that send science resources to remote schools around Australia. His work has seen him named as the NSW Young Australian of the Year 2020, the 2019 CSIRO Indigenous STEM champion and more.

Corey has been able to distribute more than 7000 books and over 200 telescopes to remote communities in need, engaging with 100 schools in the country. These schools have seen a 25% increase in engagement in STEM-related subjects

Recently Deadly Science has been playing a role in rebuilding schools affected by devastating bush fires which have ravaged most of the south coast of NSW by providing books and resources to schools that have been destroyed by fire.

Corey particularly wants to ensure that every Australian school has a copy of Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu – a History of Indigenous Science and Agriculture – to help educate them about the real story of Australia.

Outside of his media appearances and work with Deadly Science, Corey works at the University of Sydney, and is an enthusiastic advocate for Science, Nature, and Sports.


Session 5: "Brains, Robots, Moon Halos and Country: Inspirations from Leading Aboriginal STEM Pedagogies"

Presenters: Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


About Red:

She is an activist, early childhood teacher-researcher, consultant, artist and academic. Red has been working in early childhood for over 30 years and is devoted to creative, imaginative, inclusive practices that promote dignity and integrity in early childhood.


Red has developed curriculum and learning frameworks nationally and internationally. She has won numerous awards for her teaching and advocacy. Red has published widely foregrounding the stories of the numerous ‘teacher-research’ projects she has led and contributed to across the world. She is committed to raising the voices of early childhood teachers and educators through telling and writing their own stories.


She has always been part of diverse educational communities. She is a highly sought leader and mentor in the early childhood profession. Red has also been engaged in performing arts throughout her life and has qualifications in drama, performing arts, ballet and Irish dancing from Trinity College, EDTA and AMEB. Red is the Creative Director of MultiVerse Publishing and the Founding Chair of the Social Justice In Early Childhood Foundation and partner of The Aboriginal Early Childhood Collective. She is an ABC Play School Consultant, one of the architects of the Early Years Learning Framework, and a consultant in the Development of the National Quality Framework. Red has a pedagogical residency at Clovelly Child Care Centre in Sydney.


Dr Red Ruby Scarlet specialises in:

  • Keynote presentations
  • Publishing books & resources
  • Facilitating workshops
  • Teacher-research projects
  • Cross-cultural collaborations
  • Consulting and research
  • Residencies (Thinker in Residence, Artist in Residence, Pedagogue in Residence)




Session 6: LIVE Q&A

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


Special Guests: TBC

Day Four - July 2nd 2020





Session 1: Day 4 Open

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Session 2: "Kinship and Mathematics"

Presenters: Professor Chris Matthews


About Professor Chris Matthews:

"Our mathematics, Yolŋu mathematics, is Gurruṯu."

Dr M. Yunupiŋu
1st Yolŋu Principal, Yirrkala Community School and Lead Singer of Yothu Yindi


Dr M. Yunupiŋu stated that Yolŋu mathematics is Gurruṯu or, in other words, the Yolŋu kinship system is a form of mathematics. This presentation will explore the wisdom of Dr M. Yunupiŋu by exploring the connection between mathematics and culture, provide an understanding of the Gurruṯu system, explore its connection to the complex systems of the world and thereby explore its deep connection to mathematics. Prof. Chris Matthews will also provide examples of how this approach could be a powerful way of learning for mathematics in early years and how it connects to all our Communities across Australia. Chris will also briefly discuss why this understanding is important for all students as essential learning for their future and the future of Australia.  


PROF. CHRIS MATTHEWS is from the Quandamooka people and is passionate about connecting culture and mathematics to transform mathematics education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners. Chris has a PhD in applied mathematics and is currently a senior curriculum officer for ACARA, Associate Dean (Indigenous leadership) Science Faculty, University Technology of Sydney and the Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).

Session 3: "Exploring Indigenous ways of being, connecting language and country"

Presenters: Jo Garland


About Jo:

My name is Jo-Anne Garland and I am a Gamilaarary and Dharug woman who has been teaching for the past 23 years in early childhood education and care settings. I have a Bachelor of Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education and currently undertaking a PHD in early childhood trauma. I have been in the role of Centre Director for 16 years and various services across Sydney. I am an active Global World Leader for the social Inclusion of children and am working on a project to support educators in their daily practice. I have studied Aboriginal languages for six years and am currently completing Gamilaaray language at Tafe. I have a passion for inclusion, rights of children and their wellbeing.


This presentation will explore Aboriginal culture and traditional ways of being across countries in Australia. It will focus on the connection we have to our land, animals, language, water ways and sky to explain and model how science, technology, engineering and mathematics is a part of who Aboriginal people are in both physical and natural environments.



Session 4: "Working with the Seasons"

Presenters: Benny Thatcher


About Benny:

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, Bachelor of Music and currently studying his Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Macquarie University. Benny has worked in the profession of Early Childhood Education for over 22 years in a range of services and programs. He is currently a senior educator at Kelly's Place Children's Centre. He is passionate about embedding the creative arts within early childhood curriculums. He writes and records children’s music under the name "Benny Time" and is a regular contributor on Kinderling Kids radio. In 2019, Kelly’s Place Children's Centre were recipients of the Anti-Bias Award as well as finalists in Narragunnawali awards.





Session 5: LIVE Q&A

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


Special Guests: TBC

Day Five - July 3rd 2020





Session 1: Summit Open

Presenters: Mastresses of Ceremony, Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Session 2: "Caring for Country and agricultural practices"

Presenters: Uncle Noel & Aunty Trish - Q&A Session hosted by Jessica Staines


About Uncle Noel and Aunty Trish:

Uncle Noel Butler, is a Budawang Elder from the Yuin Nation. A qualified teacher, educator, mentor, horticulturist, chef and historian, Uncle Noel has together with his wife have been teaching, delivering programs and working with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adults and children for over 35 years.


Gentle and caring souls, Uncle Noel and Trish have dedicated their lives to helping others through teaching and mentoring. They have opened their doors countless times over the years to people of all situations and needs. If their place of peace can help educate, reconnect or recenter your purpose then they will, and have, opened their arms selflessly.


This session will cover Firestick Farming, Bush Tucker, Bush Regeneration and Caring for Country.



Session 3: "Bush Tucker with Jess"

Presenters: Jessica Staines


About Jess:
Jessica is passionate about reconciliation, sharing her culture and creating culturally safe services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. The Koori Curriculum has been a vehicle that has allowed her to support more services on their journey.


The Koori Curriculum is an Aboriginal early childhood consultancy based in Sydney’s inner west. Consultants at the Koori Curriculum facilitate a range of professional development workshops for educators that help guide the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives in early childhood curriculums.


The Koori Curriculum is operated by Jessica Staines a Wiradjuri woman who is also an early childhood teacher. Jessica has worked in early childhood for over ten years in both urban and rural services. Whilst working in early childhood Jessica naturally found herself supporting educators to become more culturally aware and feel confident in embedding Aboriginal perspectives in their program.



Session 4: "Gifts From Country: Planning With Places and Spaces"

Presenters: Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


About Red:

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is an activist, early childhood teacher-researcher, consultant, speaker, artist and academic. Red has 25 years experience in early education. Her passions? Creative, imaginative, inclusive practices – especially those that promote anti-bias, high quality art practices, respect for Aboriginal cultures and social justice.


Red specialises in:

  • Keynote presentations
  • Publishing books & resources
  • Facilitating workshops
  • Teacher research projects
  • Consulting and research
  • Residencies (Thinker in Residence and Artist in Residence)

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is the Creative Director of Multiverse.


Session 5: Summit Synopsis

Presenters: LIVE Q&A Session hosted by Jessica Staines & Dr Red Ruby Scarlet