"… anybody can achieve a career in STEM, everyone has the right to equal opportunities, including young women, including young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."Show pathway
Favourite school subjects
- Ancient History
Higher education choices
- Started a Bachelor of Arts
- Philosphy subject led to an interest in Physics
- Transferred to combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
- Master of Astronomy
- PhD in Astronomy in progress
Career path in STEM
- Presented Science shows at schools
- Worked at CSIRO
- Wrote first book Astronomy: Sky Country
I am a proud Gamilaraay woman, and grew up in social housing near Tamworth, NSW. Traditional high school didn’t really suit me, so my attendance was low, however, I always had a keen interest in maths. I started doing weekly tutoring sessions with an Aboriginal Elder who encouraged and built up my love of maths. In Year 8, I switched to TAFE and by Year 9 was doing maths at Year 11 level. I went on to be the first Indigenous Australian woman to complete a double degree in mathematics and physics, then a Master of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
I was part of the CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM program. I also worked as a science communicator at SMART, delivering scientific ‘edutaining’ shows for thousands of students across Australia, including very remote areas of the Northern Territory. As a science communicator, I’ve always had a focus on connecting with students from low-SES and Indigenous backgrounds.
I want to push the idea that anybody can achieve a career in STEM. Everyone has the right to equal opportunities, including young women, and young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
As well as studying the galaxy, I am also interested in the knowledge of astronomy deeply embedded within Indigenous Australian cultures. I co-wrote Astronomy: Sky Country with Krystal De Napoli, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2023: People’s Choice Award, and also co-hosted the ABC’s astronomy podcast, Cosmic vertigo.
I was a finalist ACT Young Australian of the Year in 2018, and in 2017 I was a STEM Professional Early Career Award finalist and Women of the Future finalist. In 2020, I was appointed Sydney Observatory’s inaugural Astronomy Ambassador. I am currently completing my PhD in astronomy at ANU.