Autumn 2022 Bec’s blog

A group of 9 people standing outside in front of building signage that includes the CSIRO and SKAO logos. One man is pointing out the SKAO logo.

Senior SKAO staff from the UK and Australia with the new SKAO signage in Perth.

The year is already well under way, and it’s been a busy start for the MRO team. While initially the rain was very welcome over the past few months, I know some have been hit hard as it reached higher and higher levels. I hope you’re all doing OK and staying safe despite the damage.

I was also saddened to hear of the community’s loss with Jano’s passing. We extend our condolences and support to Rossco, Emma and the entire family during this difficult time, she is dearly missed. I was touched by the lovely gesture of the beautiful memorial booklet and Tardie Relish bookmark recipe shared by the family. I look forward to making a batch in coming weeks.

You’ll see some new sections in MRO News this edition, I welcome the Australian SKA Regional Centre (AusSRC) and the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre who will be sharing their latest news and updates. Pawsey have had a long relationship with the MRO –data from the SKA precursor instruments on site flow through our control building where’s it’s initially processed and then to Geraldton down to Pawsey’s infrastructure in Perth, so I’m glad we’ll be hearing more from them each issue. The AusSRC might be the new kids on the SKA block, but they have an important role to play to distribute the final data from the SKA telescopes to the scientific community, I look forward to hearing more about their growth.

I was recently in the Murchison hosting several SKA Observatory dignitaries from the UK, including Joe McMullin, Programme Director, visiting the current MRO and our existing infrastructure on site. This was many of the team’s first visit to the red earth of Western Australia, where they received a Welcome to Country from Jimba Merry during their day in the Murchison.

There has also been some interesting science coming from the instruments already operating at the MRO over the past few months, the details of three stories are below in the updates from the ASKAP and MWA teams. The MRO is truly proving fruitful with many discoveries enabled by the site, even before the SKA-Low telescope has been built.

Did you catch the screening of ‘The Hidden Universe – Discover the SKA’ on Channel 7 in January? If not, you can still watch it on catch up to see more of the MRO and learn about some of the science and computing behind the SKA project and current MRO telescopes.

We’ve unfortunately had to say goodbye to a member of the MRO team recently, our smiling administrator Sim who you might have met at the Christmas Tree event has moved on to another role within CSIRO. Thank you for your work and support of the MRO team Sim, we wish you all the best for your exciting new role.

Introduced in our last edition, Andrew Whitmarsh has now been with the MRO team for a few months. He’s the best contact to reach out to if there are any issues at Boolardy, you can get in touch via email or you can try his mobile if you have it.

Finally, you’re reading this from the brand-new MRO website. This will be the future home of information and resources for our neighbours and those who need to work on the site as the content develops over coming months, so visit if you have a question or want to know something about the MRO. If the website doesn’t yet answer your question, you can always get in touch with my team via our new central email address

I wish you all good health as we manage COVID in WA, especially as it has started to reach the Murchison region.

Have a happy holiday period, until next issue,


Rebecca Wheadon, MRO Site Entity Lead, CSIRO