When we recall Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the media, we might remember sports stars, dancers, artists, and activists. These people are inspirational for many, especially Aboriginal children who look to these people as role models. We seldom remember Indigenous doctors, scientists or engineers.
At the AusSMC we are passionate about promoting Indigenous scientists in the Australian media. By sharing their knowledge, expertise and stories Indigenous scientists willinspire others to follow in their footsteps.
"Good news stories about Australia’s first peoples rarely appear in mainstream media, let alone stories about Indigenous scientists" – Bradley Moggeridge, 2017 IMMP participant.
The Indigenous Media Mentoring Program (IMMP) provides media training to Indigenous scientists, addressing the needs of these talented individuals and giving them the skills and the confidence to engage with the media. Media exposure can positively impact their careers, enables participation in national debate and position them as role models to promote STEM to Indigenous children and their families.
The Indigenous Media Mentoring program is unique in Australia. It provides practical hands-on media experience with media partner NITV-SBS, mentoring from Indigenous researchers, science journalists, media trainers and Indigenous journalists, and an expert profile on AusSMC’s science news portal, Scimex. It incorporates frank discussion of the issues Indigenous experts can experience when working with media and strategies to manage these.
"I have personally seen the benefits [of the program] to not only individual researchers but the wider audience and the positive effect this has on public discourse" - Dr Misty Jenkins, IMMP mentor
"I have since pursued specific media relationships which have resulted in several radio interviews [and]... co-producing a radio program, as well as being an interviewer... I wouldn't have been as confident doing this without some of the background and exposure the AusSMC mentoring program gave me" - Dr Megan Williams, previous IMMP participant
The AusSMC, with media partner NITV-SBS, ran successful pilot programs in 2016 and 2017 with 19 Indigenous researchers. Thanks to funding from CSL and ConocoPhillips, the program ran again in February 2020. Click here for a media release issued on the eve of the latest program.
For more information: Contact the AusSMC on 08 7120 8666 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Like to help? If you would like to assist this initiative in the future to extend this opportunity to as many Indigenous researchers as possible, please contact us.