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  • Toner Stevenson

4 April: The First Astronomers - how Indigenous Elders read the stars.

Monday 4 April, 6:30pm start for 7pm Keynote.

The First Astronomers book is groundbreaking in both its popularity and storytelling. In this discussion we will find out from Associate Professor Duane Hamacher about how he has worked closely with Indigenous knowledge holders and Elders including Ghillar Michael Anderson, John Barsa, David Bocun, Ron Day, Segar Passi and Alo Tapin OAM to prepare this groundbreaking book. We will find out how Indigenous cultures have preserved their knowledge and instances of how this knowledge is of utmost relevance today.

It's a good idea to pre-purchase this book. It is released on 1st March 2022 and pre-orders are available to be delivered to you directly prior to the presentation:


Dr Duane Hamacher is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the ASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence and the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. A former ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow, he has worked for Meriam elders since 2014 to document the astronomical knowledge and traditions of the eastern Torres Strait Islanders, and with other First Nations communities internationally.

Born and raised in the United States, Duane earned a Bachelors degree in physics from the University of Missouri, a Masters degree in observational astronomy from the University of New South Wales with a thesis on extrasolar planets, and a PhD in Indigenous Studies from Macquarie University with a dissertation on Australian Aboriginal astronomy. During this period Duane was an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory. He is an experienced public communicator, having given hundreds of public and keynote talks.

Photograph of Duane Hamacher at Sydney Observatory by Maja Baska.

Prior to the Keynote we will see Members presentations about Solar Activity from Monty Leventhal OAM, and progress on the James Webb telescope and other NASA news by Jonni Harrison.

Sydney City Skywatchers Members will be sent a Zoom link. Non-members can attend via a link which will be posted 2 weeks prior to the talk.


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