Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

New Eyes on Ancient Skies: Stargazing over Portland

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New Eyes on Ancient Skies: Stargazing over Portland

Fri 29 July at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us for an evening of stargazing under the skies of Portland, exploring the astronomical knowledge of First Nations Australians. Gather around the fire and enjoy a warm soup and drink whilst hearing ancient stories behind the regions unique constellations from Trevor and Tina Leaman, Central West based Cultural Astronomers from Dark Skies Downunder, along with special guest astrophysicist and Gamilaraay-Yuwaalaraay Man, Peter Swanton. Be guided through a night sky viewing with the aid of telescopes and laser pointers, to discover the celestial patterns behind these ancient symbols and learn of the special relationships between earth and sky, animal behaviour and star position.
STEAMworks is proud to be working in partnership with Dark Skies Downunder, a cultural science engagement program, for this awe-inspiring astronomical event.
STEAMworks is a sustainability and education centre connecting innovative programs with audiences across the Lithgow and Central West region, hosted by The Foundations, Portland.
Event Details
Date: Friday 29th July 2022, 6-9pm
Place: The Annexe, Williwa Street, The Foundations, Portland NSW (opposite The Coronation Hotel). Street parking available along Williwa Street.
Tickets: $10 (free for children under 4yrs). Tickets include soup (a meat or vegan option) and a warm drink
This is an all ages event, suitable for families.
Spaces are limited, bookings essential via link:…/new-eyes-on-ancient-skies…
Preparing for the event
– Wear warm clothing and closed toe, flat shoes. Feel free to bring your own camp chairs or picnic blanket, binoculars and telescope, if desired. Event includes walking and standing for short periods of time.
– This is an alcohol free event.
– Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
– Tickets are transferable and refunds are accepted up to 24hr before the event.
Disclaimer: In the event of wet weather, the event will still go ahead according to schedule with an alternative indoor experience.
About the Presenters
Trevor and Tina Leaman are based in Orange where they operate an Astronomy Outreach business Dark Skies Downunder from, sharing their knowledge with local schools, community groups and private functions within the Central West region of New South Wales. Tina is a skilled artist and educator who has worked beside Trevor as an Astronomy Tour Guide at Uluru. Trevor is a member of the Australian Indigenous Astronomy team and is currently pursuing a PhD in Cultural Astronomy at the University of New South Wales, researching the traditional Astronomical knowledge of the Wiradjuri Peoples of Central West, New South Wales.
Peter Swanton is a Gamilaraay-Yuwaalaraay 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.
This event is made possible through the support of Energy Australia.
This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia.
The Foundations, Portland, acknowledges the Wiradjuri people, the traditional owners of the land and waters upon which The Foundations stands.
Image Credit: Trevor Leaman, 2022. Composite image created by using Wiradjuri constellation art created by Scott Towney transposed over an ESO background. The image depicts Gugaa, the tree goanna orientated as it would be seen at Lithgow on 30 July 2022.


Fri 29 July
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


The Foundations of Portland
Williwa St
Portland, NSW Australia
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Local government area
Heritage, Aboriginal culture


The What’s On calendar covers arts and heritage events happening across the NSW Central West in the local government areas of Bathurst Region, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Mid-Western Region, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin.

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