Mathematics and Education:
Spirit, Culture and Community

Date/Time: Sunday, 24th of September 2017/9:30 am — 5:00 pm

Venue: Harbour View Room, Noah's on the Beach

Notices Abstracts
Abstract submission is now Closed.
is still open

This conference is a satellite meeting to the Jonathan Borwein Commemorative Conference. Inspired by Jon's passionate interest in mathematics, people and culture, this meeting is about connecting people, and us collectively leading cultural learning and change from within our mathematics and education communities.


9:30-10:00 Arrival tea and coffee
10:00-10:15 Opening and Welcome to Country
Theme 1 - Canadian Perspectives
10:15-11:00 Prof Mark MacLean,
“What Roles can Mathematicians Play in Truth and Reconciliation?”
11:00-12:00 Prof Veselin Jungic
“MathCatcher Project”
12:00-13:00 Lunch and Discussion
Theme 2 – Local Perspectives: Indigenous Mathematics
13:00-13:05 Video clip from Chris Matthews, ATSIMA Chair
13:05-13:50 Dr Michael Donovan, Wollotuka Institute UoN
“Indigenous knowledges: place of engagement and learning for Aboriginal and non Aboriginal students”
13:50-14:00 Matthew Skerritt presenting joint work with the Late Prof Borwein, and Scott Lindstrom
14:00-14:10 Collin Phillips, USyd:
“Designing inclusive indigenous STEM workshops for school students”
14:10-14:45 Discussion: How do we understand and implement calls to “Indigenise the Maths Curriculum”?
14:45-15:00 Afternoon tea
Theme 3 – Re-envisaging Mathematics Education and
Careers with a view towards diversity and inclusivity
15:00-15:15 Prof Penny Jane Burke, CEEHE,
Changing Pedagogical Spaces
15:15-15:45 A/Prof Deb King, Director of FYiMaths Project
15:45-16:00 Dr Judy-anne Osborn,
"Teaching with Stories”
16:00-16:15 Dr Michael Assis,
“Origami, Weaving & Stories”
16:15-17:00 Discussion: Themes including equity, inclusivity, teaching and research culture.
Conference Close

Please register using the JBCC Eventbrite page. Note that there is no cost for teachers, but you still need to "purchase" your free ticket. The cost for other participants is $50.

Aerial photograph of Newcastle and its harbour

About the Speakers and Talks:

Prof Mark MacLean, Undergraduate Chair of Mathematics UBC:
Prof Mark MacLean is Academic Director for UBC's First Year Student Initiatives, including the Jump Start Program, which is an academic transition program for new international and Aboriginal students, and of Imagine UBC.

Mark is involved in writing children's books to encourage interest in mathematics amongst Aboriginal children, with Veselin Jungic at SFU – Math Catcher: Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling. Mark recently received the Adrien Pouliot Award for his work in mathematics education and outreach by the Canadian Mathematical Society.

Prof Veselin Jungic SFU:
Prof Veselin Jungic is 3M National Teaching Fellow, and organiser of the Math Catcher Program at Simon Fraser University:

The Math Catcher Program is a science outreach initiative, with the objective of promoting mathematics among elementary and high school students, focusing on members of Aboriginal communities both in urban settings and on reserves. Math Catcher introduces mathematics and science to Aboriginal students through the use of First Nations imagery, storytelling, and hands-on activities. Match Catcher has produced animated films in several First Nations languages as well as bilingual picture books. In his presentation, Veselin will describe the aims and main components of the program, give a short history of residential schools in Canada, and briefly summarize the current state of math education among Aboriginal population in British Columbia.

Dr Michael Donovan, Wollotuka Institute UON:
Dr Michael Donovan is a member of the Gumbaynggirr Nation and has been involved in Aboriginal education since 1992, working in schools through to University. Michael is a Life Member of the NSW AECG and an active member the Association. He teaches pre-service teachers at the University of Newcastle about working with Aboriginal students and the benefits of implementing content about Aboriginal society to all students primarily based on his PhD.

Matthew Skerritt, PRC for Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA) UON:
Matthew Skerritt lectures in Mathematics at the University of Newcastle, and is a PhD student at the University. He has an extensive computational background. Matthew’s teaching includes the second year course “Introduction to Modern Mathematical Computation”, based on a book that he co-authored with the late Professor Borwein.

Dr Collin Phillips, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) and Registrar Portfolio, Mathematics Learning Centre at the University of Sydney:
Dr Phillips will present work on designing inclusive indigenous STEM workshops for School Students, at the University of Sydney.

Prof Penny Jane Burke, CEEHE, University of Newcastle:
Professor Penny Jane Burke is an internationally recognised sociologist, and co-Director of the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle. She believes in a praxis-based approach to equity that brings interdisciplinary and critical research in dialogue with policy and practice, in reciprocal, interdisciplinary and collaborative frameworks. She has authored many books relating to equity including: Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Diversity, Inequalities and Misrecognition

A/Prof Deborah King, Coordinator of Teaching and Learning Innovation, Mathematics, University of Melbourne:
A/Prof Deb King leads the First Year in Mathematics Network, a National Network and Community of Practice for Mathematics Educators in the tertiary sector: She is also Mathematics Shepherd for Trinity College Foundation Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include the building of leadership capacity in undergraduate learning and teaching in the Mathematical Sciences.

Dr Judy-anne Osborn, PRC for Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA), UoN:
Dr Judy-anne Osborn is a mathematics lecturer and a researcher in Mathematics Education and in Combinatorics. She is interested in effective practice for mathematics education with students whose aims and backgrounds are diverse. She is also interested in visualization of mathematics, and in enabling the general public to access and appreciate mathematics – see “Zombies and Maths: Tipping the balance towards scientific thinking”, available at

Dr Michael Assis, PRC for Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA), UoN:
Dr Michael Assis is a mathematical physics researcher with a deep interest in Education and a lifelong interest in Origami and the Mathematics of Origami. He has been involved in teaching children maths through Origami, and has given many invited lectures on the topic.

Confirmed invited speakers:

Photo of Deborah King

Assoc. Prof. Deborah King


For further information, please e-mail


  • Naomi Borwein
  • Deborah King
  • Judy-anne Osborn (chair)