Karlie is a Gamilaraay woman who was born and raised in Tamworth, NSW. She grew up with very little interest in school but a big interest in mathematics. For Karlie, her maths
journey started when she was 8 when she began playing maths games with an older Aboriginal lady who was a close family friend. Little did anyone know she would be the first Aboriginal person on the East coast of Australia to graduate with a combined Bachelor of Mathematics/Bachelor of Science.
Karlie has 7 years experience in science communication, particularly with students from a low SES and Indigenous background. She was trained in the art of science communication during her time working for the science engagement program (SMART
) and the Science and Engineering Challenge
out of the University of Newcastle. After 3 years working with SMART, Karlie took on the role of administration assistant where she was responsible for content development, monitoring and evaluation of the program, the hiring and training of new staff members and the delivery of content. Her time at the SMART program saw Karlie delivering interactive, scientific ‘edutaining’ shows for thousands of students across Australia, with a focus on very remote areas of the Northern Territory.
Since leaving the SMART program, Karlie has been a program manager for the Indigenous STEM Awards program out of CSIRO, a research assistant for the Indigenous STEM Education Project’s monitoring and evaluation, a mentor for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the ASSETS program and a research assistant to John Giacon in the production of a Gamilaraay language phrase book. She is currently working part-time for the Department of Energy and Environment as apart of the Indigenous Heritage department.
in 2019, Karlie graduated from the ANU with a joint ANU/CSIRO Masters of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Advanced) degree. As a part of her degree, Karlie studied the evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, specifically how the Galaxy obtains new sources of neutral hydrogen gas to fuel star formation. In addition to her Master’s research, Karlie is an advocate for Indigenous knowledge and has worked with Duane Hamacher, conducting research on how moon halos were used in traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture as weather predictors.
Karlie was a 2019 3M Eureka Prize finalist, ACT Young Australian of the Year finalist, a 2017 STEM Professional Early Career Award finalist and a 2017 Women of the Future finalist.