An Update On The POVG

What a relief to emerge from wet October to a glorious summer viewing season and a busy schedule of events throughout the next few months.

Looking back over the past few weeks, POVG staff and volunteers have been busy preparing the grounds for our first wedding for many years, hosting an evening of information sharing with Bickley and Carmel Valley B&Bs and wineries, as well as the usual weekend schedule of Night Sky Tours (NSTs) and daytime activities for schools.

The Astro Shop is always a drawcard at our day and night tours with lots of choices for anyone looking to find something interesting to add to their collection or a novel present for a scientifically inclined friend or family member. Our cuddly celestial buddies have been a huge hit with the young and not so young alike.

We’ve also opened the gates for passing tourists and locals on a few Sunday afternoons and this may become a regular feature, depending on the outcomes of our initial trial period.

Looking ahead, the first upcoming event is the traditional POVG volunteer and staff family BBQ and viewing evening, then a few days of relaxation for us all before January’s intense holiday viewing schedule, commencing with the “dress to impress” New Years’ Eve party night.

Later in the season, after NYE and Valentine’s special events, we’ll hold our annual Summer Lecture on the back lawn at Perth Observatory in Bickley. The theme for this March 2017 event will be the Rings of Uranus and the role that Perth Observatory played in their discovery in 1977. We are delighted to announce that Peter Birch, who was involved in the discovery, has agreed to be our speaker for this historic event.

The membership of POVG continues to grow, with many of our 2016 intake of volunteers now completing their probationary period, and progressing to Trainee and then Ordinary membership. We are indebted to these new volunteers who come from near and far each week to learn how to operate equipment, speak to the public and contribute to the operation of the Perth Observatory at Bickley. My special thanks to Julie Matthews who has taken on the role of Training Coordinator and to all our experienced volunteers who have contributed to the training of this enthusiastic group of people.

We are also delighted to welcome Michelle Hill, our Newsletter designer and publisher, who is back in WA after a stint in Queensland. Michelle, John Ford and the editorial team would love to hear your suggestions for short articles, film reviews, photos, cartoons, stories and anecdotes. You don’t need to be a POVG member to contribute.

So if you’d like to learn more about getting involved in Astronomy and Science outreach, please send an email to

Diana Rosman
(POVG Chairperson)