ATSE Awards

Prestigious prize to celebrate Traditional Knowledge – new ATSE Innovation Award

21 March 2023

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has today announced a new national award to be presented as part of the prestigious annual ATSE Awards.

The ATSE Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award is part of ATSE’s strong commitment to reconciliation and will recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander innovators who solve modern problems through the application of Traditional Knowledge.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said that the award is a significant step in shaping a future in which Traditional Knowledge is embedded alongside and in harmony with, applied science, technology, and engineering.

“Australia is unique in the world: the 60,000-plus years of sustainable living embodied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an extraordinary testament to the power of Traditional Knowledge,” Kylie Walker said.

“Through this award ATSE will acknowledge the translational power of research and development done by and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples or communities through the lens of modern innovation. We aim to celebrate the leaders that respectfully and authentically incorporate and build on Traditional Knowledge in the modern context.”

Kylie Walker hopes highlighting excellence will inspire collaboration and creativity throughout the Australian research ecosystem, and drive respectful application and acknowledgement of Traditional Knowledge across all levels, from institutions to individuals.

“Living through a pandemic and a climate crisis highlights the urgent need for varied voices and perspectives in our modern science, technology, and engineering workforce.

“The impact of incorporating or building on Traditional Knowledge can extend beyond a particular application to a single problem. We can shape the future of Australian STEM by highlighting the work done to strengthen connections between knowledge systems, and celebrating the people who are demonstrating excellence through their impact on modern innovation.”

The inaugural presentation of the ATSE Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award will be part of the ATSE Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday 26 October 2023 in Canberra.


Media contact

Aidan Muirhead – Acting Director, Communications | 0409 856 886

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ATSE’s vision for reconciliation is that all Australians recognise and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodianship as one of the oldest knowledge systems on the planet. Through respectfully working with, listening and learning from current Traditional Knowledge holders and practitioners in science and engineering we will build a better nation and a healthier, more sustainable world.

The ATSE Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award acknowledges and recognises up to two teams or individuals respectfully, collaboratively and successfully applying Traditional Knowledge through modern innovation.  The Award celebrates STEM research and development done by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples or communities (either solo or in partnership), which incorporates or builds on Traditional Knowledge.

The ATSE Awards celebrate the outstanding achievement of Australians in technology, engineering and innovation. They are open now, and anybody is entitled to nominate a candidate.

Read ATSE’s Reconciliation Action Plan