Deputy Vice-Chancellor becomes first First Nations member on prestigious national science council


A Charles Darwin University (CDU) executive will join a council of experts to advise the Prime Minister and cabinet on science and technology issues facing Australia.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor First Nations Leadership Professor Reuben Bolt has been appointed to join the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

Professor Bolt is a proud Yuin/Wandandian and Ngarigo man and is the first person of Aboriginal heritage to be appointed to the NSTC.

The NSTC provides scientific and technological advice for government policies and priorities and is chaired by Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP and co-chaired by the Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science.

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Trailblazing Indigenous leader

Professor Bolt was the first person of First Nations heritage to graduate with a PhD at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He joins the NSTC alongside new members Professor Mahananda Dasgupt and Professor Mark Hutchinson. Australia’s Chef Scientist Dr Cathy Foley serves as Executive Officer.

He has more than 25 years of experience in higher education spanning teaching, research, and leadership on Indigenous issues, and he has a passion for making a difference in First Nations communities, particularly in the NT.

Sharing First Nations knowledge

Professor Bolt says it is an honour to bring his experience to the NSTC, and to help facilitate more First Nations knowledge and wisdom in science and technology more broadly.

“It is important we look to how Western knowledge and Indigenous knowledge can come together to make change, particularly with the challenges Australia and the world are currently facing,” he says.

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“There is a lot of wisdom and traditional knowledge in our communities and our scholars. However, the key is to find the ways that this knowledge and wisdom can be heard by the right people, at the right time, particularly those that have the power to influence change for the betterment of our communities. The Science and Technology Council is an exemplar forum that can progress this work”.

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