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ICRAR is a strong supporter of NAIDOC week, and acknowledging the Wajuk Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the land UWA and Curtin University are situated on, and the Wajarri Yamatji people, the traditional owners of the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory site.

We recognise that the Aboriginal and Islander people were the first astronomers in Australia, and we are following in their footsteps and expanding the knowledge they have already built up.

As an international Centre, many of our staff and students have come from overseas or interstate to work with us. During the week, we have all had a chance to learn more about Noongar and Wajarri Yamatji culture and language with an interactive quiz.

ICRAR-Curtin’s DevCom Chair Dr Sam McSweeney said that responses to the quiz have been positive.

“I had several people send emails to say ‘thanks’ and ‘it was awesome'”

The quiz was also quite popular at ICRAR-UWA, with many staff taking part at the weekly Astro Morning Tea.

Both ICRAR nodes have also taken part in other activities, such as the Indigenous Australian Engineering School at Curtin University.

“We also commandeered the weekly Journal Club at ICRAR-Curtin, and reviewed the paper ‘Observations of red-giant variable stars by Aboriginal Australians’ by D. Hamacher (2018). The ensuing discussion (during question time) was quite interesting!” said Dr McSweeney.

ICRAR-UWA’s DEI Chair Dr Brent Groves said that the node will have a special morning tea on Friday, “where the history of the Wajuk Noongar people and their connection to the local land and sky is acknowledged.”

“To celebrate NAIDOC week, ICRAR has also shared an Acknowledgement of Country that all at the institute can use in their presentations.”

Want to know more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Astronomy? Head to www.aboriginalastronomy.com.au.

We acknowledge we are situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practice their values, languages, beliefs and knowledge. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of the lands on which we live and work across Western Australia and Australia.