First Nations Science Festival Information

About National Science Week
National Science Week (NSWk) runs each year in August and is Australia’s annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). Events are held all over Australia in places as varied as pubs, national parks and museums. Each state and territory has a local coordinating committee that oversees all aspects of the week. Each committee receives funding from Inspiring Australia, a national strategy for getting Australians engaged with STEM. Most of these funds are given out as grants to support the delivery of Science Week events.

The Festival – Payirri-apinthirlu naalityangka
In 2022 the SA NSWk Coordinating Committee started a new event a First Nations Science Festival, to showcase First Nations knowledge(s). The committee provided grants for a series of events highlighting and sharing Indigenous knowledges.
In 2023 the festival was gifted a Kaurna name Payirri-apinthirlu naalityangka, which means investigate with you all. Payirri-apinthirlu naalityangka aims to not only showcase First Nations knowledge(s) but also encourage and support participation by First Nations people and organisations in National Science Week along with inspire an interest in STEM study, careers and hobbies.

2023 events included:
– Ngarrindjeri Weaving Workshop with Aunty Ellen Trevorrow at the South Australian Museum
– Two Native Plant Tours of the Botanic Gardens
– Workshop by Indigital – exploring the metaverse and the sharing of cultural knowledge(s)
– Night Lab at SA Museum featuring First Nations speakers and performers
– Native Plants on Earth and Beyond talk at Australian Space Discovery Centre

The committee is inspired by the Indigenous Science Experience that has been running at the Redfern Community Centre, in NSW, since 2012. The Redfern event is series of talks, activities and workshops that run throughout National Science Week. The Indigenous Science Experience has been “highlighting the value of traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge in STEM and the relevance of science to our everyday lives” and the committee would like to do the same in South Australia.

Next steps
Proposal for activities for the 2024 Festival are welcome. Activities such as hands on workshops, talks or demonstrations that share traditional and modern Indigenous knowledge(s) or which showcase both historic and current Indigenous scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs. Funds are available to support the delivery of events and activities.

Please contact Alison Kershaw for more information or expressions of interest to be involved with the Festival: or 8273 9107.

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