University of Melbourne Magazine

New opportunities for Indigenous engineers

  • Professor Paul Dougas

    Professor Paul Dougas

    The University is leading a nationwide initiative to vastly improve opportunities for Indigenous engineering students and increase the number of Indigenous engineers working in Australia. 

    The Partners for Pathways project aims to create scholarships and devise strategies to promote entry into engineering for Indigenous and other students who do not have the required background in maths and science. 

    A former Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair Knight Merz, Professor Paul Dougas (BE(ChemEng) 1971), is leading the program, which is backed by a Commonwealth grant of $700,000. 

    The first National Indigenous Engineering Summit was held in June and brought together industry, professional bodies, representatives of most of the major Australian university engineering schools and policy leaders to exchange ideas. Indigenous engineers from around the country also took part. 

    “We heard from a number of practising Indigenous engineers who agreed that education was the key to a better future for themselves and their families,” Professor Dougas said. 

    “These engineers can now be mentors to current students coming through the ranks and are able to provide advice on what barriers and experiences they had to help build a tangible pipeline into the profession.”