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NAIDOC winners use STEM skills to help Indigenous health

This NAIDOC week get inspired by Indigenous people in STEM and the groundbreaking work they’re doing to help all Australians

Ear, nose and throat surgeon and Worimi man Professor Kelvin Kong has been named NAIDOC Person of the Year 2023 for his mad skills helping children in remote communities with middle-ear disease. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience the highest levels of middle ear disease in the world, affecting up to 70% of children in remote communities, and Kelvin has been working with the community to help prevent it for more than 10 years.

And if any Indigenous young Australians wanted further inspiration for a STEM career in health, Yorta Yorta and Wiradjuri woman Dr Naomi Mayers OAM received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Naomi started her career as a nurse at 18, and in addition to being a founding member of The Sapphires music group, she founded the first Aboriginal medical service in Australia.

This year’s theme for the NAIDOC awards is ‘For our elders’, celebrating the cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors and leaders.

There are so many inspiring Indigenous people working in STEM in the health sector and beyond. Like Lesley Woodhouse, Darug woman and digital knowledge keeper who is bringing Indigenous culture to the world.

Or Kamilaroi water scientist, Bradley Moggridge, helping to embed Indigenous knowledge into science managing our natural resources.

Check out these and plenty more profiles of Indigenous role models in STEM here.

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