This week, Christina was recognised for her work in Indigenous education in engineering, receiving the University of Sydney’s Vice Chancellor Award for Indigenous Education Strategies.
The 33-year-old Sydney girl works in the university’s Faculty of Engineering alongside her manager and fellow award recipient, Keiran Passmore, and the Associate Dean for Indigenous Strategy and Services, Petr Matous.
In her specific faculty role of Community Engagement Coordinator, Christina project manages the university’s Indigenous Australian Engineering School (IAES) in collaboration with Engineering Aid Australia.
She says it’s a role she loves as she gets to see Indigenous students in Years 10 to 12 get real-life experience in engineering through the IAES education program.
“During the IAES, Indigenous students from across Australia live on campus for six days to get a real taste of university life. The students are accompanied by “house parents” from engineering backgrounds, who have been through the IAES,” Christina explains to The Greek Herald.
“They also get access to prominent STEM academics at the university and visit engineering companies such as Sydney Metro.
“The whole program creates an exciting environment for Indigenous students to learn how engineering can improve our communities, to meet engineering role models, and gain insights into the opportunities engineering can deliver as a career.”
The size of the IAES program has gradually grown each year to 25 students annually. In fact, Christina says eleven out of thirty Indigenous students enrolled over the past 5 years in the Faculty of Engineering come from the program. This is something she’s incredibly proud of.
“The program has been running for 10 years and students who have gone through the program in the initial years are now some of the leading engineers in Australia. That’s inspirational,” Christina says.
“It’s just beautiful to see the students progress as they go through the program and realise that they are able to achieve greatness in engineering despite any barriers they may face.”
And with that statement, it’s clear the IAES is a powerful program managed by a Greek Australian who wants to see more Indigenous people achieve their personal career goals.