First Knowledges Astronomy: Sky Country
What do you need to know to prosper for 65,000 years or more? The First Knowledges series provides a deeper understanding of the expertise and ingenuity of Indigenous Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest scientists in human history.
Many First Peoples regard the land as a reflection of the sky and the sky a reflection of the land. Sophisticated astronomical expertise embedded within the Dreaming and Songlines is interwoven into a deep understanding of changes on the land, such as weather patterns and seasonal shifts, that are integral to knowledges of time, food availability, and ceremony.
In Astronomy: Sky Country, Karlie Noon and Krystal De Napoli explore the connections between Aboriginal environmental and cultural practices and the behaviour of the stars, and consider what must be done to sustain our dark skies, and the information they hold, into the future.
Karlie Noon is a Gamilaraay astronomer and science communicator who has worked with audiences around the country for the past ten years promoting Indigenous astronomical knowledge systems and advocating for more women in STEM. Karlie is the first female Indigenous Australian to graduate with combined degrees in mathematics and science. She holds a Masters of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is currently undertaking a PhD in astrophysics.
Krystal De Napoli is a Kamilaroi educator and astrophysicist devoted to the advocacy of Indigenous knowledges and equity in STEM. She is undertaking an honours degree and researching star formation rates in galaxies. In 2018 Krystal became the first astrophysicist to be awarded the Illumina Women in Genomics bracelet, and she has curated a national public database on Indigenous science for the Australian Council of Deans of Science.