Wednesday, 11 November 2020


The radio telescope observatory—colloquially known as “the Dish”—originally named for the nearby host settlement of Parkes, New South Wales (itself namesake of Sir Henry Parkes, a nineteenth century statesman and premier of the state, advocating the continental railway network and federation of Australia and critic of the practise of using the land as a penal colony) is redesignated as Murriyang—the toponym meaning Skyworld in the language and culture of the Wiradjuri people who have lived there for the past sixty-five thousand years. This realm was the dwelling place of the creator god called Biyaami and the renaming ceremony is meant to celebrate and highlight an endangered yet enduring (loanwords include kookaburra, bunyip and wombat) heritage. Built in 1961, the campus played a pivotal part in the Apollo missions—including the televised coverage, surveying for extraterrestrial technologies, discovering and articulating the phenomenon of fast radio bursts and continues to monitor and track outer space operations.