Community Sky Stories event returns to Charles Sturt in Orange

3 SEPTEMBER 2019

Community Sky Stories event returns to Charles Sturt in Orange

Astronomers and scientists will share stories and insights about the solar system during the free 'Sky Stories Community Observation Night' at Charles Sturt in Orange.

  • Future Moves and Charles Sturt in Orange will host free ‘Sky Stories’ event on Tuesday 10 September
  • Astronomers and scientists will explore differences and parallels between Aboriginal and Western science

The annual ‘Sky Stories Community Observation Night’ will return to the Girinyalanha Aboriginal Nature and Bioscience Park at Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) in Orange on Tuesday 10 September.

The free Future Moves event will explore the differences and parallels between Aboriginal and Western science.

The event will include stargazing, telescopes, dance performances by Canobolas Rural Technology High School students, traditional Aboriginal food, a barbecue, music, virtual reality headsets, face painting, a popcorn stand, healthy treats, glow sticks, and lucky door giveaways.

Astronomers and scientists will lead the stargazing event and share stories and insights about the solar system.

One of the special guest speakers and astronomers for the event is Mr Trevor Leaman, a PhD researcher for the Wiradjuri Cultural Astronomy Project, Director of Dark Skies Downunder, member of the Australian Indigenous Astronomy group, and Learning Adviser for Indigenous students at Charles Sturt.

“The event is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about Indigenous science from the lens of astronomy and will highlight there are different perspectives, stories, and ways of looking at the night sky”, Mr Leaman said.

“All the astronomers and speakers have extensive knowledge of our moon, the planets, and arrangements of stars, and will help all who come to learn about how telescopes work and the meaning of Aboriginal stories, such as the 'Dark Emu’.

“I plan on exploring the features of the night sky from Western perspectives, Indigenous Australian perspectives and other global cultural perspectives.”

The astronomers and special guest speakers hosting the event include Mr Rod Somerville from Orange Planetarium, Mr Ray Pickard from Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, Mrs Tina Leaman from Keshara Murriyang Wiradjuri Project, and Mr Doug (Ian) Sutherland, a well-known and active member of the local Wiradjuri community.

Mr Gerald Power from Indigenous Cultural Adventures will be treating attendees to a variety of traditional bush tucker and cultural activities.

The event will take place on campus at and around the Girinyalanha Aboriginal Nature and Bioscience Park and will include three designated stargazing vantage points.

Girinyalanha was established by the University in partnership with the Orange Local Aboriginal Lands Council and is a cultural learning space with culturally significant trees, plants and areas which have significant meanings for the local Aboriginal community.

Charles Sturt Director of External Engagement for Orange Ms Julia Andrews highlighted the event as a wonderful opportunity for staff, students and the community to come together to learn more about astronomy.

“The University welcomes students, staff and all members of the public to attend this event,” she said.

”It’s always a lot of fun and it’s a real treat that the University gets to co-host it. I especially encourage students of the Orange campus to attend the event.

“All students studying undergraduate and professional entry courses at Charles Sturt must undertake Indigenous cultural studies as part of their course, and this event is a wonderful opportunity for our students to connect with the local Aboriginal community.”

The ‘Sky Stories Community Observation Night’ event is on between 5pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday 10 September at Girinyalanha at Charles Sturt in Orange.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic rug and wear warm clothes.

The free Future Moves event is also supported by Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health, Residence Life and Charles Sturt.

Future Moves is Charles Sturt’s aspiration program, working with partner schools and community members within Charles Sturt’s footprint to increase aspiration for, and knowledge of pathway options of, university as a post-school option.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews, contact Rebecca Tomkins at Charles Sturt Media on 02 6338 6270 or news@csu.edu.au

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Orange Indigenous Science Society and Community