When the founder of the IAES Program Jeff Dobell initially contacted Sydney University to recruit some Indigenous Engineers to work with him in 1996, the University told him that they had graduated only one Indigenous Engineer to their knowledge and at the time there were approximately five Indigenous Engineers in Australia.

‘Across Australia, and particularly in remote Indigenous communities, there is a need for engineers to design, develop and advise on drinking water, roads, hospitals, schools, radio, television and communication networks and all the fabric of modern society. Encouraging engineering graduates assists in our self determination – giving us opportunities to be the drivers in our own social and economic development’.

Professor Tom Calma AO.

Professor Tom Calma is Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia, an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group in the NT. Currently the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Chancellor of the University of Canberra.

Professor Calma has a special interest in Indigenous education, employment and training programs

Former students (graduates and undergraduate engineers) of the IAES program with His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), then the Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Linda Hurley and the late Hon Bob Hawke AC, then the Patron of EAA, and Ms Blanche D’Alpuget on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the IAES program in 2017.