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The Oddie Lecture

May 12 @ 18:00 - 21:00

137th Anniversary

Dr Martin George will be our speaker for the 3rd Oddie Lecture. Martin will speak about Grote Reber  who was an American pioneer of radio astronomy, which combined his interests in amateur radio and amateur astronomy. Reber moved to Tasmania. He was instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky’s pioneering work, and conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies.


Martin was born in England and attended the University of Tasmania, completing an honours degree in physics on the topic of UBVRI photometry.

More recently, Martin’s research has been in the history of astronomy, primarily of low-frequency radio astronomy in Tasmania, which was a major topic of study in the State around 1955 to 1985. This led to several published papers and his PhD thesis at USQ. Martin has also collaborated on papers about the history of astronomy in Thailand.

Martin is passionate about astronomy communication and often speaks about astronomy and space topics in the media. He currently runs the Ulverstone Planetarium in Tasmania, and prior to that ran the Launceston Planetarium for many years. Martin is a long-standing member of the International Planetarium Society (IPS) and is a former President and current Chair of International Development of the society. He is also a member of the International Astronomical Union.

Martin is a keen traveller and has visited many planetariums and astronomy facilities around the world. An important project for Martin as part of his IPS work is maintaining contact with planetarium professionals in Ukraine to increase IPS awareness of their situation.


Special viewing through heritage telescopes if clear.

Wheelchair access to the Oddie Room and Baker Hall, Brittain House and also Restroom facilities, and the custom-built Federation – Adcock Telescope, the first public telescope for wheelchair access in Australia.

The Oddie Lecture recognises the legacy of James Oddie, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Observatory in 1886.

6.00pm Dinner

7.00pm Lecture

8.00pm Viewing at the Telescopes

9.00pm Supper

Online Bookings





Oddie Lecture 2 “400 years of Telescopes” Barry Adcock, Telescope Maker, 400 Years of Telescopes. The Ballarat Observatory has been a part of that for 136 years! Barry designed and built our Federation -Adock Telescope which enables wheelchair access.


Oddie Lecture 1 Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter – School of Arts, Federation University Australia. Anne’s research interests are in Australian colonial history, History of Art, Historiography and Cultural History, and heritage studies. Her special research has revolved around the Eureka Stockade and its interpretation.

“The Ladies Picture Show”

Anne’s talked will explore the work of two women in Ballarat, Miss Effie Baker and Miss Margaret Oddie, who were pioneers of the art of photography in the 1890s, and particularly astronomical photography. Effie was the granddaughter of Captain Henry Baker, and Margaret was the adopted daughter of James Oddie, the founder of the Ballarat Observatory.

Heritage Week Lectures

Lecture – Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum 1886-2021 – 135th Anniversary Judith Bailey Observatory Manager – The legacy of Gold and the development of our Institutions resulting in a unique Regional Observatory.

Lecture – Discover the Amazing Universe – a journey of the changing technology which reveals our Universe 1886-2021 +. Judith Bailey Observatory Manager – Constantly changing technology has revealed stunning knowledge about our Universe. Come on a fascinating journey on the “eve” of even further new technology which is coming online this year and in the near future.


May 12
18:00 - 21:00


May 12
18:00 - 21:00
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