Dr Chris Matthews, a Noonuccal man, is passionate about connecting culture and mathematics, having developed a method of teaching maths to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through dance and story. He teaches students to bring maths to life by crafting stories in which characters take actions that add, subtract or divide.
As Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA), Dr Matthews also organises camps and conferences designed to promote Indigenous participation in STEM and to support mathematics outcomes for Indigenous students.
Dr Matthews highlights the importance of engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in mathematics to ensure they are prepared for life beyond school. “Maths is one of those subjects that is a gatekeeper to jobs, it gives access to other opportunities in life, and it’s important for every student,” said Dr Matthews.