The Zonta Club of Perth Inc in Western Australia, District 23, chose to celebrate Zonta’s centennial anniversary with an event titled, “Cosmos Calling: Space the Next Frontier.”
This event took place under the dome of Perth’s SciTech Planetarium during Science Week. It featured a planetarium show, presentations by three exciting female astrophysicists and a lively panel discussion. The aim of the night was to promote the Amelia Earhart Fellowship and Women in Technology Scholarship, as well as inspire women and girls to take more interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It worked!
The emcee was the State’s former Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley. She described how Aboriginal people’s movements were guided by the position of the ’emu’ in the Milky Way. She introduced the three speakers:
- Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker works with the Murchison Widefield Array (the precursor to the Square Kilometre Array – SKA). She showed the beauty of the Cosmos in ‘radio colour’ by colouring non-visible wavelengths that usually appear as blackness to our human eyes.
- Dr Katarina Miljkovic works on NASA’s InSight mission monitoring the seismic activity on Mars to see if the planet’s centre is ‘soft or hard-boiled’ and showed a ‘selfie’ that the InSight lander had taken on Mars.
- Dr Ellie Sansom works on the global Fireball Network tracking fireballs through the sky using a global camera network. The cameras can also monitor the changing orbits of satellites. She encouraged everyone to report fireballs using a special app.
Club President Carole Theobald welcomed everyone to this special Zonta centennial event and provided an introduction to Zonta and its work. She dressed as a suffragette to celebrate Zonta’s Centennial and it being 100 years since women in the USA obtained the right to vote.
Judy Gorton, Zonta International Director, provided a heartfelt vote of thanks to the speakers and audience, explaining how funds raised will go towards Zonta’s service and education programs.
A full report is available on the club’s website www.zontaperth.org.au