ATSIMA Conferences are the only mathematics education conferences in Australia that ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have a say in how education is structured for their people and can participate in the development of a new education paradigm.
This is an important aspect of the self-determination agenda. All ATSIMA conferences have a process where delegates are asked to critique a set of presentations, and which are recorded for each session. The papers are then collated and analysed during the conference to inform discussion on the final day, where all delegates distil the main themes emerging from the conference. These themes inform and shape ATSIMA’s direction and strategic plans.
ATSIMA conferences have been advancing over the last six years. ATSIMA’s first conference in 2014 on Kaurna country (Adelaide, SA) was a collaboration with the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT); a year before ATSIMA was officially incorporated. The theme of ATSIMA 2014 was Creating Connections & Growing Understanding. The main aim for this conference was to start the development of a community of educators, researchers and industry professionals. The main outcome from this conference was a paper that outlines 5 ways forward: Culture and Identity; Leadership; Transition; Investment; and, Quality Teaching.
The theme of ATSIMA 2016 conference was Value us, Value our education, Value our future held on Dharawal and Yuin Country (Wollongong, NSW). The main aim for this conference was to explore quality learning and teaching in mathematics that values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. One of the main outcomes from this conference was that delegates wanted to start a Revolution in mathematics education to create a paradigm shift in how we teach mathematics in Australia. Delegates signed their name to the Revolution on a canvas which is now an important part of each conference to continue to support and commit to the revolution.
Building on ASTIMA 2016, the theme of the ATSIMA 2018 conference was Starting the Revolution held on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation country (Melbourne, Vic). The main focus was to start the revolution, to understand a strategy and be part of this strategy to develop an Indigenous mathematics curriculum as a step towards supporting Indigenous learners’ identity in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The Indigenous mathematics curriculum is the meeting place of two knowledge systems, where both are valued and connections celebrated. The main outcome of the conference was the first articulation of an Indigenous mathematics curriculum: Koori Curriculum.