Indigenous Pathways in STEAM

Rork Projects was very proud to collaborate with our friends at GHD Engineering earlier this month to help to deliver a brand-new initiative for Indigenous students that are a part of the Melbourne Indigenous Transitioning School (MITS). 

GHD contracted Rork Projects to act as the client in an educational scenario where students are tasked with building a fictional 4-level contemporary school in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Students got to pick an area of engineering that may be of interest to them, such as sustainability, architecture, project management, stakeholder engagement and communications, and civil or structural engineering; and work as a team to meet the brief.

Rork Projects Project Manager and STEAM Pathways Lead, Gabriel Faris leading discussions with GHD staff and MITS students.

The week was an immersive work experience program that provided Indigenous students with practical experience and exposure to our industry, getting them involved in delivering a project from start to finish.

The week began with the students coming to visit the Rork Projects Melbourne office for lunch and a ‘Kick Off’ meeting run by Rork’s Senior Project Manager Gabriel Faris.

During the meeting the students got to speak with Rork Projects Co-Owner and proud Wuthathi man, John Janke, live from Garma Festival in North-East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Many of the students’ communities are in Arnhem Land and had even attended  this event before, which was a great point of discussion to kick off our first meeting. John spoke about how proud he was of the culture he shared with these students and imparted some great knowledge on how to combine career, community, and culture.

As part of the visit to Rork Projects, our department leaders came in to speak about the processes at Rork from tendering right through to delivery. This really highlighted to the students the variety of career opportunities available within our industry, whether that be with Rork or not. It was great to see the students excited about the opportunities that we could present them with.

RORK STAFF LEFT TO RIGHT: Project Engineer, Robert Camuglia; Quantity Surveyor; Tinashe Masuka; Bid Manager, Sinead Blake; Commercial Manager, Claire Butterly; Estimator, Dharan Retnam; General Manager, Scott Dekker

Initiatives like this are so important in supporting pathways for Indigenous students to develop their interest and hopefully careers in our industry.

Throughout the week, we heard lots of insight and creative ideas from the students. It was refreshing to see the new ways of thinking from our up-and-coming architects, designers and engineers. As an Indigenous construction company we loved being part of a project that helps to make a change in the lives of Indigenous youth.