Reconciliation Action Plan

Our vision for reconciliation is that all Australians recognise and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodianship as one of the oldest knowledge systems on the planet.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the custodianship of the lands and waters on which our staff work — the Ngunnawal people and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people — and the many lands and waters across Australia on which our Fellows work, live, and apply science, technology and engineering. We acknowledge that other people and families also have a traditional connection to the lands of the ACT and region and we respect this connection to country.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and pay respects to their Elders. We acknowledge Traditional Knowledge, and the deep history of innovation it embodies.

Our vision for reconciliation is that all Australians recognise and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodianship as one of the oldest knowledge systems on the planet. Through respectfully working with, listening and learning from current Traditional Knowledge holders and practitioners in science and engineering we will build a better nation and a healthier, more sustainable world.

Reconciliation through our STEM programs


  • STELR – ATSE's STEM education in schools initiative collaborates with Deadly Science to identify schools and works in collaboration with community to support students to understand and engage with sustainable engineering and renewable energy.
  • Elevate – ATSE's STEM scholarship program – is designed using an intersectional approach to support people from traditionally underrepresented groups to access STEM study at Australian universities. In addition to the scholarship, the wraparound supports provided by the Elevate program, including a focus on psychosocial wellbeing, and access to inclusive networks and mentoring ensures that marginalised groups feel safer in spaces that have not always felt welcome. Currently, 10% of Elevate scholars are Indigenous.
  • All ATSE STEM Careers programs are designed with practices that uphold the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.


Reconciliation through our policy work

  • We consult and seek expertise from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists, technologists and leaders, both within and beyond the ATSE Fellowship, and communities.
  • Our people-focused tools, such as the Diversity and Inclusion toolkit, are reviewed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to ensure they are appropriate and fit for purpose.
  • We aim to raise awareness of policy issues related to Traditional Knowledge and STEM participation through our government relations and advocacy work.

Download our full Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan


ATSE Awards 24 Open 40
Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award

The ATSE Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award acknowledges and recognises an individual, team, community, or organisation respectfully and successfully applying Australian Traditional Knowledge in contemporary innovation contexts.

Traditional Knowledge Innnovation Award
ATSE Awards



Our RAP artwork

Artist — Lynnice Letty Church

Tribes — Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi(ACT and surrounding region / NSW)

Artwork title  — Knowledge Systems and Holders

The artwork tells the story of two knowledge systems. These are the knowledge systems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that acknowledges the importance and validity of cultural practice and knowledge that has been passed down from our Elders and Senior Knowledge holders for thousands of years over many generations. This knowledge system has played a significant role in the responsibilities of caring for each other, our cultural practices and country. These knowledge systems helped us to understand the land, sea, rivers, sky, plants and animals important to our survival and connection.

This created our collective knowledge system where each person played a role and part. We listened, observed and put into practice what we were taught and then shared with others and our younger children and generations.

This is the same for other knowledge systems, we have knowledge holders and senior people who are experts and teachers who play an important role in sharing and helping others to learn and understand. Through their guidance and support we learn the ways of caring for each other, our environment and using science, technology, engineering and maths to help us to solve new and emerging challenges. Each person is a knowledge holder with diverse skills, experiences, knowledge and expertise that play an important role.

Together these two worlds and knowledge systems are important and of equal value.

Evidence and ways of doing things may look different but they are just as valid and credible.

Providing those opportunities to develop relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the science, technology, engineering and maths spheres and experts is key to creating a collective knowledge system where we value these differences and see them as a strength. This creates a collective knowledge system built on respectful relationships, diversity and reciprocal opportunities to engage. This provides the platform for collaboration and a shared journey and understanding.