The First Scientists


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About the Author

Corey Tutt is a Kamilaroi man from Nowra on the New South Wales south coast. As a kid, he dreamed of becoming a zookeeper and in high school he developed a love of STEM subjects. But unlike the arts and sport, he found there was little encouragement for Aboriginal people to pursue careers in STEM. In 2018, while working as a research assistant for the University of Sydney, Corey founded DeadlyScience, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide science books and telescopes to remote schools in Australia, and connects young Indigenous people with mentors to encourage their participation in STEM subjects. In 2020, Corey was named the NSW Young Australian of the Year, and a Human Rights Hero by the Australian Human Rights Commission. He continues to work tirelessly to send STEM resources to Indigenous communities, and show First Nations kids that STEM is for them. The organisation has even attracted international attention, with Corey presenting at Harvard and Oxford universities.


'This is such a great, positive book. When I was a kid you coloured in a boomerang - such a shallow acknowledgement of Australian history. But now, young Australians can get to know the full fascinating history of their country and perhaps think about how that incredible history and the people descended from it can be honoured.' - Bruce Pascoe

'Proud Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt is one of the most important young Australian voices of the 21st century; one who has inspired me greatly. With a deep passion and knowledge for all things science-related, combined with a genuine desire to empower young First Australians and with the biggest of hearts, Corey continues to be a meaningful and positive impact in the lives of so many.' - Kylie Kwong

'An amazing book from an amazing young man. Corey's ability to take ancient cultural knowledge and convey it for modern-day young minds is perfectly on display here in an engaging read for all ages.' - Rove McManus

'Corey has a gift of making big ideas accessible for kids - and adults like myself who are just not that smart at science stuff!' - Wil Anderson

'The oldest construction ever made, 40,000-year-old fish traps, is still being used today. Learn about this, fire management, food, astronomy and more - all inside this beautiful, eye-opening book.' - Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

'The First Scientists is an amazing book of facts about the ingenuity of First Nations people. This book will appeal to both young and old. I love the clear simple language and storytelling format Corey uses, along with a range of well researched examples of 'firsts' across Australia. Who would have thought our mob's coming together to trade food and tools would be compared to the first eBay for scientists, love it ... There is so much scope to combine First Nations knowledge and traditional practices with western science in so many other areas, including the way we manage Country including our waterways. - Aunty Veronica Murphy

'I love what Cory and everyone part of the DeadlyScience team are doing by bringing science and learning to so many kids, and in-turn, bringing the ancient practices and knowledge of these kids and their ancestors to all.' - Dan Sultan

My children love The First Scientists. We read it together, and on every page we have learnt something new about ourselves and our country. The book has achieved the impossible, we are even prouder to be Indigenous and Australian than we were before. - Thomas Mayor

'Insightful, informative and should be in every home across the country.' - Joe Williams

'The First Scientists is as deeply inspiring as it is profoundly illuminating, with something to offer to readers of all ages. Through the vibrant artworks of Blak Douglas, Corey Tutt takes the reader on a journey through the sophisticated scientific understanding of Australia's first astronomers, engineers, land managers, and so much more! The First Scientists is a must-read for all curious young minds, filled with the right knowledge and insight to empower the next generation of deadly scientists.' - Krystal De Napoli, Kamilaroi astrophysicist

'An extremely engaging, informative and at times funny account of the much-overlooked contribution of early First Nations people to various scientific fields. - Hannah Gardiner, Books+Publishing

'The First Scientists is aimed at kids up to 12, but the historical facts Tutt has presented from the world's longest continuing culture will likely surprise many adults as well.' - Kylie Northover, The Age

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