I would like to welcome you to the start of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).
2014 is our first year of operation and we have already had some set backs. At the end of last year, we were expecting to receive funding so that we had a full time person working for ATSIMA. Unfortunately, we did not receive the funding and we are currently functioning on the goodwill of people supporting ATSIMA; in this regard a special thank you to Caty Morris and Will Morony, CEO, AAMT.
On a personal note, I have recent had a change of life from University academic to stay home Dad. I am currently on leave without pay from Griffith University and moved my family to Darwin at the start of the year. My wife, Cath, is undertaking a PhD at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in renewable energies for remote communities. For the first part of this year, I have been deliberately spending a lot of time with my children to ensure that they settle into the Darwin and their new schools. One thing I would like to do while in the Northern Territory (NT) is to work with teachers to develop and trial some maths education ideas. So you NT mob out there; if you are interested please get in contact with me via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The focus for this year will be to build a solid foundation for ATSIMA. This will include working with the membership to outline a five year strategic and implementation plan to help focus our efforts; lobby for funding from government, private and/or philanthropic sectors; and expanding the membership through existing Networks of the membership.
We are also currently working on our first major event: the inaugural ATSIMA conference. The conference was planned for 25-26 October 2014 at the Lakes Resort Hotel in Adelaide. Given the financial difficulty above, this conference will be postponed to a later date. We apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are currently working on a new time line and an agreement with AAMT for this event to happen.
In addition, see my response to Warren Mundine’s comments published in the Australian on the 13 March. Mundine wants to have Indigenous culture and language taught in the schooling system but does not believe that we should have an Indigenous perspective in maths and science. Please have a read of my response and happy to receive any feedback from the membership.
I hope you all have had a good start to the year and look forward to working with you during 2014.
All the best
Dr Chris Matthews