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 the past decade we have 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.

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.

First President: John Tebbutt

Sydney City Skywatchers Committee

President : Dr Toner Stevenson

Vice President: Dr Andrew Jacob

Vice President & Outreach : Ann Cairns

Secretary: Elizabeth Cocking 

Treasurer: Elizabeth Budek

Editor: Janette Brennan 

Councillors: Susan Berdo, Monty Leventhal OAM, Prabina Lord-Doyle, George Mavrocordatos

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.