- McGowan Government provides almost $1 million to Perth Observatory
- A new Aboriginal Astronomy Centre to be created at the Bickley facility
- Funding will also improve disability access and amenities at the facility
Science Minister Dave Kelly today presented a $958,890 Lotterywest grant to the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group in Bickley, which will go towards a living museum of science and technology projects.
The Perth Observatory is Western Australia's oldest observatory serving WA for more than 120 years and remains actively involved in the service of public education through Day Tours for schools and Night Sky Tours for the public.
Almost $1 million in funding will be provided over three years by the McGowan Government, through Lotterywest, to the facility for improvements to disability access, restoration of artefacts, improved amenities and the creation of an Aboriginal Astronomy Centre (Skyworld).
Artefacts such as historical clocks and instruments and paper-based records (documents and photographs) as well as a significant collection of astronomical glass plates will be restored and preserved.
Informative outdoor signage, redevelopment of the museum, and design and installation of interpretative signage within the historical Astrograph Telescope domes will also be undertaken.
For more information, visit http://www.perthobservatory.com.au
Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:
"This grant, provided by the McGowan Government through Lotterywest, will ensure for many more years the Observatory can continue to inspire the public and young minds.
"I'm particularly excited to announce that this funding will go towards the creation of an Aboriginal Astronomy Centre, which will celebrate 60,000 years of Noongar astronomical knowledge.
"It's not well-known, but the Aboriginal people have a deep understanding of the night sky and for thousands of years they have used our starry skies as a calendar to indicate changing seasons and the availability of certain food.
"The constellations and the stories of how they were created are an important part of Noongar culture.
"The new Aboriginal Astronomy Centre project includes opportunities for Aboriginal students to work with artists and elders on storytelling and public art, and a short film about Noongar astronomy that can be shared with all of Australia.
"I'd like to thank the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group for their dedication in preserving this iconic 120-year-old facility."
Comments attributed to Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes:
"I am thrilled that the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group has received a substantial grant from the McGowan Government through Lotterywest.
"Faced with the closure of the observatory by the previous Liberal National Government in 2015, the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group (POVG) stepped in to take over the management of the facility through a Community Partnership agreement.
"The people of Western Australia are indebted to the volunteers. Without this commitment the active life of the observatory would have ceased.
"The Perth Observatory continues to operate today under the management of only five part-time staff and almost 120 passionate volunteers, from teenagers to those in their mid-80s, who work hard ensure its position as a living scientific and heritage education facility."
Minister's office - 6552 6100