First Nations Australians

Acknowledging First Nations Australians

The 15th International Congress on Mathematical Education will be held in Sydney on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people. The Gadigal are a clan of the Eora Nation, which was the name given to the coastal First Nations Australian peoples living around modern-day Sydney. Eora means here or from this place.

The Eora Nation were saltwater people who lived on the rich resources of the harbour and rivers. There were over thirty clan groups among the Eora, and several languages were spoken including Darug and Dharawal.

Prior to the arrival of the British First Fleet in 1788, the ancestors of the Eora had lived in this region for over 60,000 years. Despite the destructive impact of first contact with the British, Eora culture survived. Many places around the harbour remained important hunting, fishing, and camping grounds for the Eora long after British settlement, and continue to be culturally significant today.

We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the Country that ICME-15 will be held upon. We recognise their continuing connection to the land and waters, and thank them for protecting this coastline and its ecosystems since time immemorial. We acknowledge that they never ceded sovereignty. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all First Nations people present during ICME-15.

To learn more about the history and traditions of the First Nations Australians, we recommend visiting The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website.

ICME-15 logo design

A decorative banner that describes the meaning behind the ICME-15 logo design, replicated in the text on this page.

Our locally designed ICME-15 logo has been inspired by the traditional art of First Nations Australians. It was designed by Saretta Fielding, an Aboriginal Women of the Wonnarua Nation

The design represents delegates at the 2024 Congress gathering from across the world, depicted by the four smaller gathering circles, which cluster around a larger gathering circle that represents ICME-15.

This design also highlights how stepping stones provide the ability to expand our knowledge, as we grow and learn more about the importance of mathematics in our everyday lives, represented by the largest gathering circle.

About our artist

Saretta Fielding is a Wonnarua woman of the Upper Hunter Valley through her grandmother and an Anaiwan women of the New England area through her grandfather. She is also connected to Worimi, Awabakal, and Darkinjung tribal groups, having lived and worked closely across these communities over many years.

Saretta’s love of culture, country and community is reflected within her work. Her passion is to share First Nations Australians unique and invaluable culture through authentic, engaging and thought evoking fine artwork and visual design that welcomes all and enhances connection to spirit and country.

Saretta Fielding (Artist) talks about the symbolism of the ICME-15 logo

Engage with the history of the First Nations Australians during ICME-15

There are many opportunities for you to engage with, and learn more about, the history and traditions of the First Nations Australians during your visit to Sydney for ICME-15. These include:

The Australian Museum

A short distance from Sydney Harbour, The Australian Museum is home to one of the world’s most-significant First Nations collections representing Australia’s indigenous culture with collections of artworks, technologies and cultural significance. In 2020, 250 years after Captain James Cook discovered the continent that would become Australia, the Museum introduced Unsettled an exhibition that recognises the disconnect in Australia’s past history and steps towards reconciliation by recognising the different perspectives and impacts of the development of Australia from first settlement to today.

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Housed on Sydney Harbour in the finger wharves at Walsh Bay, Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australias leading performing arts companies. Professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers share the stories of their Elders through contemporary dance, drawing on 65,000 years of culture. These moving performances create awareness and understanding of indigenous culture.

Cadman’s Cottage

A short walk from the Circular Quay is the historic Cadmans Cottage. From here you can join a walking tour to uncover the Dreaming and explore the history of Indigenous Sydney. Discover how to experience contemporary Aboriginal society right in the heart of cosmopolitan Sydney today. Guests learn about ochre in sandstone, Aboriginal saltwater people, seasonal flora and witness significant sites.