NYSF: Drop your harmful sponsor

Teachers for Peace asks the National Youth Science Forum to cut ties with Lockheed Martin, a company profiting from humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

As the war on Gaza enters its second month, the UNHCR estimates 1.8 million people have been displaced and at least 20 000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks. 

Around the world, attention is being drawn to those who materially benefit from this war. Suppliers of bombers, drones, armoured vehicles, munitions, explosives, surveillance and targeting technologies have reported surges in stock prices and positive outlooks for investors.

Lockheed Martin, RTX (Raytheon), BAE Systems and other weapons companies profiting from violence in Gaza are all active in Australian STEM education.

We wrote to the National Youth Science Forum – which has Lockheed Martin as its major sponsor – to ask them to reconsider their association with Lockheed Martin.

We told the NYSF: 

Lockheed Martin profits from war and human suffering and is associated with controversial
weapons, corporate misconduct, and allegations of serious human rights abuses and war
crimes. Since the outbreak of war in Palestine and Israel, public attention has also been drawn to
Lockheed Martin’s role in supplying fighter jets, transport planes, missiles, and rocket
systems to Israel.

Lockheed Martin is implicated in a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, and children are
especially affected. In the first three weeks of the war, more children were reported killed in
Gaza than the annual number of children killed across the world’s conflict zones since 2019,
according to Save the Children. As an organisation serving young people, this statistic
should be of grave concern to NYSF.

We also reminded NYSF of changes to education policy:

As a result of advocacy, there have been changes in education policy in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland that NYSF should consider. Education departments in these states have accepted our argument that companies that manufacture, sell, or promote weapons – such as Lockheed Martin – create significant social harm, and that children should not be exposed to their influence.

These changes put companies like Lockheed Martin on par with harmful and stigmatised industries like tobacco, alcohol, gambling and junk food. 

NYSF must recognise that a duty of care to protect children from harmful influence exists,
and that it has an obligation to remain compliant with education policy in the jurisdictions
in which it operates.

We’re waiting for NYSF’s response.