Indigenous Australians are our first scientists and astronomers, and their knowledge and contributions to Australian science are reflected through the new Australian Space Agency brand.
At first glance, the logo appears as a satellite view of Australia. The dots allude to the light created from human life and industry, which the Australian Space Agency will support.
However, closer inspection reveals this isn’t an abstract view looking down on Australia from space. It’s actually what Australians see when they look to the skies.
Just like with the night sky, the logo holds gems for those who know where to look. Hidden within the logo are significant Indigenous star constellations which represent dreamtime stories. The dots now take on a star-like quality, while subtly referencing the artistic methods of our first people.
The abstract view is also what Australians can see when they look to space. The continent is made up of eight Aboriginal constellations and star maps, with each cluster capturing our heritage and the spirit of the Agency.
There is a strong link between space and Australia’s Indigenous people who are the world’s oldest astronomers. For thousands of years, the sky has been critical to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in dictating seasonal activities around food and movement, a reflection of what is happening on the land.
The brand is a result of consultation with members of Australian Indigenous communities and Indigenous astronomy experts. Many of the constellations have stories and meanings to multiple Indigenous communities across Australia.
“It’s fundamentally important for the reclamation of culture between Aboriginal cultures and modern culture, that the Space Agency has incorporated Indigenous constellations into the brand” said Paul Curnow, Astronomy Lecturer at University of South Australia, who provided consultancy on star patterns seen in the Agency’s branding.
The Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC, said the Agency’s first few months have re-enforced our purpose to transform Australia’s space industry and to inspire all Australians.
“The new identity is a brand of which we can all be proud, and we hope that Australians come to love. It reminds us that we are here to serve our nation, honour our past and build the future.”
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.