Spring 2023 Australian SKA Office update

Wajarri culture features in Canberra museum 

Wajarri art and connection to Country has been featured at the Museum of Australian Democracy in an exhibit telling the story of the Australian Public Service. The Spirit of Service exhibit officially opened to the public in Canberra on 30 August 2023. The exhibit features the SKA project and promotes the significance of the involvement and consent of the Wajarri Yamaji enabling SKA-Low telescope to be built on their Country. The exhibit features a print of the painting SKA-Low at Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara created by Wajarri artist Susan Merry, and a video of Jonathan Rogers from the Australian SKA Office talking about his engagement with Wajarri Yamaji, drawing on the connection between the SKA-Low being built on their ancient lands and that the astronomers of the future will be looking up to the same sky that Wajarri have been looking at for thousands of years.   

A colourful painting is on the wall with small metal "christmas trees" in front.
The SKA project display at the Museum of Australian Democracy
The SKA project display at the Museum of Australian Democracy. Credit: Australian SKA Office

Indigenous knowledges informing our modern world 

Wajarri Yamaji man Des Mongoo recently spoke in Canberra sharing his personal experience on Indigenous knowledge sharing. On 10 October 2023, the Australian Academy of Science held its fifth instalment of the 2023 public speaker series Looking Back, Moving Forward: Indigenous knowledges informing our modern world. Des, who formed part of the Wajarri Yamaji ILUA negotiation team, spoke about his personal experiences with the ILUA. Associate Professor Duane Hamacher also spoke about his research on cultural astronomy. The talk series recognises and acknowledges the achievements of our First Nations peoples and how it benefits scientific discovery. Watch the recording on the AAS website.  

Caroline Quan, Acting General Manager Astronomy, Astronomy Branch, Department of Industry, Science and Resources