Strong Foundations to Empower Stem Education and Careers for Indigenous Students

To address the under representation of Indigenous Australians in STEM industries, WSP and QUT established the Science and Infrastructure Development (SID) School in 2012 – a free, fully-supervised, five-day, residential program held in Brisbane.

This was in response to the gap in enrolments in STEM education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and in school attendance, literacy and Year 12 completion at school and high-school levels.


This year, the SID School hosted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Oodgeroo Unit in partnership with WSP and corporate sponsors, welcomed 25 Indigenous Australian high school students from across Queensland to participate in a five-day residential camp over the July school holidays to get a glimpse of tertiary education pathways, STEM careers and workplaces whilst maintaining a strong connection to Indigenous culture. Also, returning as SID school ambassadors, were 10 alumni with close ties to the program to help mentor current students.


Professor Anita Lee Hong, Director of the Oodgeroo Unit at QUT says, “Through the SID School, we are committed to increasing Indigenous participation at university. Support of young students is one of the most impactful ways of building positive relationships with the Indigenous community.”


SID School and other STEM camps are part of WSP’s commitment to closing the gap and align with the objectives laid out in our Reconciliation Action Plan. Charlie Jewkes, WSP’s Director of Transport and RAP Advisory Committee sponsor says, “As engineers, planners, designers and influencers, we are in a unique position to affect change working with the Oodgeroo Unit and our industry partners. Supporting the young leaders of tomorrow, particularly Indigenous STEM students, helps us lay strong foundations in designing integrated and diverse communities of the future.”


This year's camp included site visits to the Queens Wharf Redevelopment, Gallipoli Barracks, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and WSP's Brisbane office. It also involved interactive workshops centred around the program's enduring theme of future cities: connected living including clean energy, community centric infrastructure, Aboriginal Design Principles and more.


For more information on SID School, visit


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