Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Rod and I are delighted to welcome you to Government house for the presentation of the Kuwa Circles program certificates.

For those who are visiting Government House for the first time, we hope you enjoy the experience.

It is a grand place, but a welcoming place and a wonderful location to say congratulations to you all for participating in and completing the program.

As you came through the main gate, I hope that you noticed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags flying proudly next to the State and National Flags.

It is the first time they have been permanently flown together here at Government House and is a symbol of our commitment to advancing reconciliation.

The pilot Kuwa program, which you have just completed, seeks to advance reconciliation by building confidence, resilience and leadership.

It does so by encouraging in you a passion for maths and science and the career paths which can be opened by these subjects.

And it does so in an innovative way, by harnessing the Aussie love of footy.

It’s great to have a kick with our mates or cheer our teams on. It brings us together. But there is a science behind the match play and the competition itself which creates many and varied jobs.

Through being part of the Kuwa Circles program, you as participants, have discovered the role science and maths plays in football and from that, how those principles can be applied elsewhere and lead to great job opportunities.

Rod as a former maths and physics teacher will tell you Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM as we shorten it to, may seem like hard subjects, but they are really just ways to find out how the world works.

And importantly they offer many exciting career opportunities, particularly here in South Australia where we are embracing space and defence industries and medical research. The possibilities are endless including in sports industries.

To all those who took part in the program. Well done. It is an amazing outcome that all 25 junior mentors completed the 14 -day program and obtained credits towards your SACE.

Some of you travelled from as far away as Maitland, Port August and Ceduna to take part.

I am sure you have more confidence and resilience and have gained leadership skills, through the Kuwa Circles. There is much to be gained by listening to others, collaborating and sharing ideas.

You have also been connected with employment experts who can help you realise your career dreams after Year 12.

To the senior mentors, congratulations on completing the 20-day program and providing cultural leadership and support to the students.

It is impressive that a third of the senior mentors have already gained on-going employment, traineeships or education in your desired industry. I wish you well.

The program is also a great example of experts coming together to achieve much more as a collective than can be done alone.

I thank the program partners, the Adelaide Crows Foundation, IPA, Stronger Smarter Institute, Tauondi Aboriginal Community College and Tjindu Foundation, for driving the program.

You are helping to redress the imbalance in STEM particularly at the university level, where 0.5% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a STEM qualification compared to 5% of the non-Indigenous population.

To the junior and senior mentors, again congratulations on your achievements.

I hope you will use the experiences from the program to be like the Kuwa and continue to fly high.