Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara
You might have noticed our new dual name:
Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, the CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.
On 5 November 2022, the Wajarri Yamaji gifted us with a traditional name for our observatory. The new dual name is the first outcome from the new Indigenous Land Use Agreement finalised in early November.
The traditional name means ‘sharing sky and stars’ in the Wajarri language:
As Traditional Owners and native title holders of the observatory site, the Wajarri Yamaji are sharing their sky and stars with the global astronomy community, who are in turn sharing their knowledge of the sky and stars gained by the world-leading telescopes on Wajarri Country.
The new dual name replaces the old names for the observatory and is now the full name for the site.
Our Aboriginal Liaison Officer Leonie Boddington has recorded a pronunciation guide for the Wajarri language portion of the new dual name:
Usage of the new dual name
Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, the CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory
This version will most often be used in spoken language or informal publications such as social media.
Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory
Signage and graphic usage
Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara
CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory
The observatory is no longer known as the MRO.
An appropriate shortened form to refer to the observatory is currently in discussion with Wajarri Yamaji representatives.
An interim solution is to use ‘observatory site’, ‘observatory’ or ‘site’ depending on what would best suit the communication, only once the full name has been introduced in your communication.
Using an acronym, such as IIB-MRO, is not an acceptable short form of the new dual name.
Referring to the entire observatory as Boolardy or the SKA site is not an appropriate short form for the observatory.
- Boolardy Station is the ex-pastoral station that is now the land area of the observatory. The smaller past observatory was a subset of the station area, and the expanded observatory footprint now covers the entire station. Therefore, Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, the CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory is now the appropriate name for the area.
- The SKA-Low telescope site is a subset of the observatory location and therefore is not a stand in for the entire observatory.
You might see us use the name as ‘Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, our Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory’.
We don’t tend to refer to ourselves in the third person, so this format follows our first-person style. It’s only for use in CSIRO publications and by CSIRO staff in their presentations and documents.
Frequently asked questionsOpen allClose all
The Wajarri Yamaji, as Traditional Owners and native title holders of the observatory site, gifted the new name for the observatory as part of a new Indigenous Land Use Agreement finalised in early November 2022. The name represents the ongoing connection to land and sky the Wajarri Yamaji hold, and the sharing of that land and sky with astronomers around the world through the hosting of world-leading radio telescopes on Wajarri Country.
The observatory has grown to accommodate construction of the new SKA-Low Telescope, part of the global SKA Observatory. The Indigenous Land Use Agreement process that allows for SKA-Low Telescope construction led to the new dual name.
The Wajarri Yamaji, in conjunction with CSIRO as owners and operators of the observatory and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources as lead negotiators on the Indigenous Land Use Agreement for the observatory.
The new name for the observatory will be in use from 5 November 2022 and implementation will occur from that date. Uses in digital media and other easy-to-update locations should be changed as soon as practical following 5 November and other uses in print and signage will be changed in stages.
Your day-to-day connection to the observatory and our teams within CSIRO will not change.
A pronunciation guide and recording for the new observatory name to aid in use in talks and presentations is available at the top of this page.
See the usage formats at the top of this page for details on how the new name should appear.
For example, usage by CSIRO could appear as:
Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, our Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, is located in the heart of Wajarri Country in the Murchison Shire. The observatory site is host to world-leading telescopes, such as our ASKAP radio telescope.
And usage external to CSIRO could appear as:
The SKA-Low Telescope is located at Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, the CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, on Wajarri Yamaji Country in remote Western Australia. The observatory site was chosen as one of two future locations for the SKA project in 2012 after an international selection process involving many sites across the globe.
This change has very little separate cost as it is being implemented within the overall expansion of the observatory.
Printed materials will be updated with the new observatory name as needed from 5 November, and large amounts of printed material waste will not be produced from this change.
Boolardy Homestead will continue to be known by its historical name in recognition of its history as a pastoral station within the Murchison region. There are also no current plans to change the name of the Boolardy Accommodation Facility at Boolardy Homestead.
The overall Boolardy Station area is now part of the observatory, so the appropriate name for the land area is Ilyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.
However, Boolardy Station may still be used when referring to area’s history and the land’s past life as a pastoral lease.
CSIRO Executive Dr Larry Marshall visited Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara, CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, this week to see the progress on construction of the brand-new SKA-Low Telescope and enjoyed the hospitality of local Traditional Owners who work at the Boolardy Accommodation Facility nearby.
Negotiation with the Wajarri Yamaji of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) for the observatory was led by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources on behalf of the Australian Government, with involvement from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
Providing a new Indigenous name for the observatory was one of the first terms of the ILUA agreed among parties when negotiation started.
The Wajarri Yamaji Aboriginal Corporation held a competition among Wajarri Yamaji to suggest a Wajarri language name for the observatory site. The Minangu Land Committee from the Wajarri Yamaji selected Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara as the winning name suggested by young Wajarri woman Shakira Whitehurst. The new traditional name was included in the ILUA process and endorsed by DISR and CSIRO as part of the new dual name of the Observatory.