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"All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners will be successful in mathematics".

Welcome to ATSIMA

ATSIMA is a recently formed, non-profit member based group representing organisations, communities, institutes and individuals across Australia. We aim to inspire, promote and support improved mathematics outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

ATSIMA is led by Dr Chris Matthews, a Noonuccal man from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Quandamooka First Nation (Moreton Bay) in Queensland. Chris completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 2003.

ATSIMA is pleased to announce our national conference in July bringing together a collaboration of leaders, educators and stakeholders from Community, education, research, and business sectors around Australia to the traditional lands of theWurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. Go to the conference page for more details about how you can be involved or register now.

ATSIMA has a number of potential initiatives - community-based, some STEM related, others about developing leaders in Indigenous education and maths education. Interested? Consider partnering with us or becoming an ATSIMA member to make them a reality.


There is a critical need to change what is happening in the mathematics classroom for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners around Australia.

A sound mathematics education opens doors to all sorts of career and lifestyle opportunities. This may become even critical in light of the Australian Government’s omnipresent and growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda. However, for those of us who are not on the receiving end of the benefits of satisfactory mathematics experiences and effective teaching in our schooling years, associated levels of disadvantage can be pervasive with many consequences.

What does this mean for many Aboriginal learners in our schools? Mathematics education can make a difference. To life opportunities, family and community economies, career pathways. There is an urgency to improve their mathematics learning outcomes if they are to achieve opportunity with the rest of Australia.

ATSIMA presentation to NATSIEC15

We know how important maths is to life outcomes and that maths can open many doors to opportunity so ATSIMA presented at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference in November.

Have a look at our slides with notes (PDF 3MB) about 5 ways forward to improving maths outcomes of Indigenous students and opening doors or click on the image.

"ATSIMA is looking to a new narrative about maths for Indigenous kids – one that abounds with success and promise - where all kids will be successful in maths. Today we are going to talk to you about three things: the current status in mathematics education for our kids; what we know and what it already happening, and then the possibilities and hopes for the future and importantly, making the most of opportunities. This presentation is about all of us here today and an invitation to you to join us. It’s a challenge to you and an appeal to you to make a difference. So why do we need to do something?"

Latest News

Latest newsletter

Find out about conference workshops and Day of STEM and more

Chris's podcast

Dr Chris Matthews joins Amy McQuire on the programme to talk about why its important to open up a new conversation about how we teach maths and science to our kids, and how Aboriginal people had our own sophisticated system of mathematics.

Click here

Day of STEM

ATSIMA recently launched a new partnership with Day of STEM, a national initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of STEM capabilities and improve Australia's 'National IQ' for STEM education pathways.

It offers a great opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to interact with a STEM career. Teachers are encouraged to register now.

ATSIMA membership
ATSIMA has over 200 members from education, Community and business backgrounds and that's without even trying! And we grow in numbers every week.

ATSIMA is  incorporated as a charity with an ABN and ACNC. Click here to find out more about ATSIMA's goals and how you can donate.

NATSIEC presentation
ATSIMA presented at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference in November. Have a look at our slides with notes (PDF 3MB) about 5 ways forward to improving maths outcomes of Indigenous students.

STEM camp for Indigenous kids

124 students from across NSW engaged in afirst-ever STEM three-day camp in Dubbo in October. ATSIMA played a key role in the camp from the planning to the delivery thanks to Dr Chris Matthews.

See the NITV article for more.

National Indigenous Engineering Summit 2015
ATSIMA facilitated and participated in this summit from 18-19 June, 2015. A key part of the program was to build knowledge and consensus about how Australian education providers can help Indigenous students to enter and succeed at tertiary study of engineering. A communique was written and sent to Australian Government. See communique from the summit.

ATSIMA14 conference report and proceedings
See our report with links to many of the presentations and the 5 ways to improving maths outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Download report (2 MB)

ATSIMA Conference 2018

Plans are underway for ATSIMA Conference 2018 to be held at the RMIT University City Campus Melbourne from Tuesday 10th - Friday 13th July. Please see further details here.

5 ways forward

5 ways forward to improving mathematics outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students: A collaboration between Community, education and business

The major findings from the ATSIMA 2014 conference are summarised in the five themes:

1. Culture and identity
2. Leadership
3. Transition
4. Investment
5. Quality teaching

5 ways forward provides messages for anyone working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and employment who want to make a difference.

Download 5 ways forward

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