The first-of-its-kind National Indigenous Space Academy launched today.

The program will see up to 5 Indigenous Australian university STEM students undertake a 10 week full time summer internship program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) in California.

The selected under-graduate or post-graduate students will attend a “Space Bootcamp” before their departure. Areas focused on include:

  • aerodynamics
  • robotics
  • astrophysics
  • planetary science
  • engineering
  • computer
  • earth sciences.

As part of their internships, the students will partner with a NASA JPL scientist or engineer mentor and complete projects outlined by their mentors.

The National Indigenous Space Academy is being delivered by Monash University but is open to eligible Indigenous students from all Australian universities. It follows a successful pilot at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2019 led by Indigenous Professor Chris Lawrence, who will oversee the Academy in his current role at Monash.

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said, “The Australian Space Agency proudly celebrates Indigenous Australians as the world’s oldest astronomers but they are also critical to our present and future as we look to do space in a uniquely Australian way.

“We are committed to developing a diverse space workforce that can not only contribute to our sector but across the breadth of our science and tech fields,” Mr Palermo said.

“I look forward to these students bringing back what they learn to Australia, and to them becoming part of our dynamic space and tech community.”

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.