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Sydney City Skywatchers

Founded in 1895, affiliated with MAAS

As the oldest operating astronomical association in Sydney the Sydney City Skywatchers carries forward a proud tradition from the days when the first amateurs in Australia gathered to call themselves 'The Sydney Comet Watchers'. In 1895 Walter Gale and Robert Innes founded  'The New South Wales Branch of the British Astronomical Association'. Well known amateur astronomer, John Tebbutt (pictured), was the first president. 


The group flourished and attracted the most significant and dedicated amateurs in Australian Astronomy, many of whom became Fellows of the Royal Astronomical Society. Women were admitted into the club from the very start. 

In the 1990s we became affiliated with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, and this continued and strengthened our relationship with Sydney Observatory.


In 2004 we changed our name to 'Sydney City Skywatchers' to better reflect our location, but since 1895 our aims to service the amateurs in astronomy have not changed. We are affiliated with the British Astronomical Association (BAA) and our members have access to resources, as well as an opportunity to submit research to

the BAA.

We meet on the first Monday of every month and members present their observations and a keynote address from a leading astronomer, astronomy historian or related field is delivered. Since 2020 our meetings have been held via Zoom, attracting speakers, visitors and members from far afield. When covid restrictions are lifted we will meet at Sydney Observatory, continue some on-line presentations and continue our outreach viewing nights and other social activities.


We publish a quarterly Bulletin and have an active website with regular blogposts by members.


For the latest program and more information see:

First President: John Tebbutt

Our Aims

We encourage the association of amateur observers working with small telescopes for the mutual help and organisation of astronomical observation, the circulation of current information and the encouragement of the popular interest in astronomy.

Annual Reports

At the October meeting an Annual Report is presented to the members by the presiding President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Sydney City Skywatchers Committee

President : Andrew Wood

Vice President: Dr Andrew Jacob

Vice President: Ann Cairns

Secretary: Elizabeth Cocking 

Treasurer: Elizabeth Budek

Bulletin Editor: Janette Brennan 

Councillors: Dirk Goes, Jeff Portelli, Dr Toner Stevenson

Our committee is elected during the AGM, held during the October meeting each year. The president's role is limited to 2 years consecutively, other committee members may have more years of service.

LIfe Members

We honour the voluntary contribution and sustained dedication by members. Our current life members are: Janette Brennan, Dr Wayne Orchiston, Dr Nick Lomb, Harry Roberts, Michael Chapman, Monty Leventhal OAM and Elizabeth Cocking. 

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