Condo SkyFest

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) and community partners will host the first Condo SkyFest on 9-10 November 2018 to celebrate 60,000+ years of astronomy on the inland plains.

This historic event will be held at the Wiradjuri Study Centre, Cnr Cunningham & McDonnell Street, Condobolin. The Friday evening program will include a smoking ceremony, traditional dancing, and a guided tour of the night sky with visiting astronomers. It will also feature the official openings of two interconnected art exhibitions:  Scott ‘Sauce’ Towney’s Wiradjuri Skyworld, or Wiradjuri Murriyang, and Seven Sisters Dreaming installation by master weaver Bev Coe and the fibre artists from the Condo SistaShed.

Wiradjuri Murriyang presents graphic representations of some of the traditional Wiradjuri constellations as documented by colonial writers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and researched by cultural astronomer Trevor Leaman. Seven Sisters Dreaming installation responds creatively to Scott Towney’s artworks and to Seven Sisters Ridge near Yarrabandai which is associated with the Mulayndynang star cluster also known as the Pleiades. The Seven Sisters installations also features Gugurmin  the Celestial Emu and Muliyan the Wedge-Tailed Eagle.

Saturday’s program is packed with workshops in Wiradjuri astronomy, traditional weaving, painting, family history, Wiradjuri language, cooking, boomerang and didgeridoo making and storytelling, many fun activities for children, and a community barbecue.

WCC’s Executive Director Ally Coe hopes the Condo SkyFest will become an annual event. He sees it as an opportunity to pass on traditional sky lore, inspire a new generation of stargazers and celebrate the wonders of Condobolin’s dark nights. It has the potential to attract thousands of astro-tourists to our Shire every year and benefit the town in so many ways, he said.

Visit SkyFest on Facebook for the latest news.

This event was initiated through our Big Skies Collaboration‘s Wiradjuri Skywriters Pilot Project in 2018 and, we hope, will grow from a local celebration of 60,000+ years of astronomy in Wiradjuri Country into a major astro-event on our Inland Astro-Trail.

Uncle Dick with the Wiradjuri Study Centre’s first telescope, a little National Geographic 76/350 Dobsonian donated for SkyFest by the Skywriters Project.  All you astronomers with bigger kit, please don’t laugh — because this little ‘scope will, we hope, inspire dozens of local kids to learn more about the night sky, and maybe even become astronomers themselves!  With Uncle Dick are the Study Centre’s cultural officer and SkyFest coordinator Tennille Dunn (far left),  Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation’s Executive Director Ally Coe (far right), and the Skywriters Project’s coordinator/Creative Collaborator, Merrill Findlay.




Page created 4 June 2018. Last updated 31 August, 2018.