In the beginning...
The Australasian Dark Sky Alliance was established in 2019
In September 2018, one hundred delegates met at Siding Spring Observatory for Australia's first conference on light pollution.
Sparking the interest of local councils, tourism representatives, health practitioners, ecologists, astronomers and the lighting industry, eight delegates joined forces on a voluntary basis, to continue and strengthen the conversation around light pollution in Australasia.
Founding Director - Marnie Ogg - NSW
Marnie’s started at the grassroots of the travel industry building her own company, taking people around the world to visit places of scientific interest. She managed Sydney Observatory before devoting her time to one of her passions: preserving the night sky. In July 2016 Marnie succesfully saw the Warrumbungle National Park designated as Australia's first Dark Sky Park. Since then she has spent her time re-engaging people with the natural heritage of the night sky and reducing the impacts of lighting pollution. In 2017, Marnie was awarded the Dark Sky Defender Award, presented by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Dr Ken Wishaw - QLD
Dr Ken Wishaw is a retired medical specialist (anaesthesia and critical care). He is an honorary senior fellow and adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He is the Secretary of the Brisbane Astronomical Society, and recently completed a post-graduate certificate in Astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland.
Dr Kellie Pendoley - WA
Kellie has over three decades of experience in the
environmental management of large-scale oil and gas developments, both in Australia and overseas. With her extensive knowledge of marine turtle biology and ecology, Kellie has designed and implemented an array of programs that manage industrial activities in the vicinity of marine turtle habitats. Her work with marine turtles led to a special interest in monitoring and modelling light pollution, spending over 25 years in R&D of novel technology and techniques to quantify biologically meaningful light and educating industry and regulators on the issue.
Landon Bannister - TA
Landon Bannister has been working in the lighting industry for over 20 years and is a passionate advocate for the important role lighting plays in the human experience of the built environment. He is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society as well as the International Dark- Sky Association and is actively involved in lighting education.
Carol Redford - WA
Carol is the Founder/CEO of Astrotourism, WA. She is an accidental stargazer whose passion for astronomy and stargazing was ignited during the years she owned Gingin Observatory (2007 – 2012). In 2013, Carol established Stargazers Club WA (www.stargazersclubwa.com.au) where she and her team introduce beginners of all ages to the world of astronomy, telescopes, stargazing and astrophotography. Carol is Co-Chair of WA’s astronomy and space science community, Astronomy WA and a member of the International Dark-Sky Association. She now combines her passion and marketing qualifications to develop an Astrotourism industry across regional Western Australia (www.astrotourismwa.com.au), where the State’s dark night sky asset will be protected from artificial light pollution and shared with visitors from around the world.
Nathan Wilson-Rynell - NSW
Nathan has been in the Australian lighting industry for
25 years, heading up ERCO’s Oceania headquarters in
North Sydney for the past 18 years. Nathan’s Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from QUT in 1992 eventually led him south to Sydney’s northern beaches in 1997. Nathan’s role at ERCO sees him working on local and international projects, whilst overseeing the continued growth of the Oceania region. Nathan counts the adaptation of ERCO’s ‘light not luminaires’ philosophy to the local market as his greatest challenge, an ideology readily accepted in the Museum and Gallery sector but with greatest opportunity lying in the workplace and community sectors. Notwithstanding the disruption of LED technology, the ERCO claim that “light is the fourth dimension of architecture“ has never been more topical in the quest for sustainability.
Dr Theresa Jones - VIC
Therésa Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Behaviour and
Evolutionary Ecology and Leader of the Urban Light
Lab in the School of BioSciences. She is interested in
understanding the ecological impact of artificial light
at night on the fitness of individual animals and their
communities. She addresses this using a variety of species including crickets, spiders, swans, willie wagtails and the eastern grey kangaroo. Research from the Urban Light lab has linked artificial light at night with reductions in immune function, reproductive success and survival. The Urban light lab engages widely with diverse stakeholders regarding their lighting strategies.
Dr Richard McDermid - NSW
Richard is a Senior Lecturer and ARC Future Fellow researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University. His research interests are in galaxy formation and evolution, with particular interest in galaxy dynamics, stellar populations, and supermassive black holes. Richard also helps develop instrumentation for astronomy, and is currently Project Scientist for MAVIS - a proposed instrument for ESO's VLT. He is an Astronomy and Astrophysics Degree Director, looking after the academic interests of astronomy Major students and coordinating the astronomy curriculum at Macquarie. He teaches astrophysics, and convenes the astronomy 'PACE' unit (Professional And Community Engagement) where students undertake professional placements related to their degree.