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Astronomy Night: Stargazing over Portland
Sat 26 November at 7:00 pm
This event begins as dusk falls, we will all gather together outside, under the stars and around the fire, for a special evening with performances from local dance groups, and discussions from local Knowledge Holders and visiting astrophysicists. Afterwards, we invite you to be guided through the night sky with our telescopes and laser pointers with informal teachings by astronomers from the Australian National University and Dark Skies Downunder.
The Annexe will be selling their usual assortment of delicious hot drinks and snacks.
Joining us on the night to share their knowledge is an amazing lineup of presenters, including:
Peter Swain is a Dabee Wiradjuri Elder from Rylstone. He is a practising artist, storyteller and mentor, who has been sharing his Aboriginal Culture and expertise in schools for the last ten years. He has exhibited his artwork in galleries across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, as well as internationally in Italy and Vienna.
Peter Swanton is a Gamilaraay man from Mackay, QLD. Peter graduated from The Australian National University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics, specialising in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Peter’s work in astronomy initially began with research around black holes and cosmology, but he has since shifted his focus to cultural astronomy and dark sky preservation. Peter’s work will highlight the scientific importance of Indigenous star knowledges, and what we need to do in order to preserve these knowledges on Country, as well as in the night sky.
Trevor and Tina Leaman are based in Orange where they operate an Astronomy Outreach business Dark Skies Downunder, sharing their knowledge with local schools, community groups and private functions. Tina is a proud Palawa woman, a skilled artist, researcher and educator who has worked beside Trevor as an Outreach Astronomer and Astronomy Tour Guide in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and New South Wales. Both are members of the Australian Indigenous Astronomy research group, the Central West Astronomical Society, and the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. Trevor is currently pursuing a PhD in Cultural Astronomy at the University of New South Wales, researching Wiradjuri traditional Astronomical knowledge with the support of the Wiradjuri Elders and knowledge custodians. This research project, known as the Wiradjuri Cultural Astronomy Project, works in tandem with the Wiradjuri Murriyang Project coordinated by Tina Leaman with a focus on cultural STEAM activities and community collaboration.
Aunty Iris Reid will also be running workshop in the afternoon before the Astronomy Night where participants will explore Animal Totems, designing your own Animal Totem card to take home with you, as well as teaching participants to sing a song Aunty Iris has designed, called “Yindyamarra” – Respect. Aunty Iris Reid is a Wiradjuri Elder from Narromine NSW, and teaches Wiradjuri Language at Yarradamarra, the Aboriginal Centre Dubbo TAFE.
This event is made possible through the support of Energy Australia and Inspiring Australia (NSW).
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