SGAC Australia

National Points of Contact
  Istvan Revesz
Dec 2016-Dec 2018
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Australia Group

Australia has had many achievements in space despite having no formal Space Agency. Australia was the fourth nation to launch a satellite into space, and one of the original members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Australia possesses expertise in astronomical research, space to ground communications/infrastructure, and small satellite integration/testing. Notable facilities include the Woomera Test Range, and the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre.

The Australian Space Policy Unit (founded in 2009) was replaced in 2013 by the Space Coordination Committee. The Australian Space Coordination Committee represents more than 12 different government Departments, and is chaired by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, is responsible for Australian civil space activities and the Department is the central point of contact and coordination for the Government’s involvement in national and international civil space activities. A central government website for space in Australia can be found at

Australia’s two main pieces of space policy/legislation are ‘Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy’ (2013) and the Space Activities Act 1998. In 2016, a review of the Space Activities Act 1998 was announced and 69 formal submissions were lodged. The results of the review have not yet been made publicly available.

There are now ever increasing opportunities, projects and educational programs for Australians to be involved in space at home, including both the Space Generation Congress and the International Astronautical Congress which will be held in Adelaide in 2017.


Young Space Activities Overview in Australia 

There are many opportunities to participate in Australia’s emerging space future. Contact your NPoCs to discover where you could fit!


2016 Updates

    • The International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program ran in Adelaide, Australia for the 5th time. There were 31 participants from 11 countries who produced a White Paper called ‘Sensing Progress – Space Solutions for Food and Water Security’. A number of free public lectures and events were also held as part of the program that ran from 10 January to 13th February 2016.
    • Submissions for the review of the Space Activities Act closed on April 30th 2016. The review is being conducted by the government with the advice of space lawyer Professor Steven Freeland. The results should be available a few months after the submission closing date.
    • In May 2016, the first ever Australian ‘Overseas Launch Certificate’ was signed by Science and Industry Minister Christopher Pyne for the Australian start-up company Quberider.
    • The Australian Youth Aerospace Forum (AYAF) ran from 27th June to 1st July in Brisbane, Queensland. The AYAF is a five-day live-in conference which provides students in years 11 and 12 the opportunity to investigate careers and pathways in the aerospace industry.
    • The Final Frontier Festival ran in Melbourne from June 29th to July 3rd 2016. The 5 day event was organised by Melbourne Space Program and included Family Day (with family friendly presentations and children’s activities), technical presentations, a space hackathon, an exhibition, and a SpaceUp unconference.
    • National Science Week ran from August 13th-21st, with numerous events held around Australia. The Sydney chapter of the AIAA hosted Dr Randi Wessen of JPL for a free public lecture in Canberra, and space historian Amy Shira Teitel toured Australia.

      The 16th Australian Space Research Conference was held in Melbourne from September 26th-28th 2016. Two public lectures ‘Exoplanets and Life elsewhere’ and ‘From the Outback to the Space Station: Developing Revolutionary Spacesuits with NASA and ESA’ were supported by the Conference.

      A large contingent of Australian’s were present at the Space Generation Congress 2016 and the International Astronautical Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The closing ceremony of IAC 2016 was significant for Australia as the IAC flag was presented to Mr Michael Davis and Mr Brett Biddington, the organisers of IAC 2017 in Adelaide, Australia.


      World Space Week 2016 ran from October 4th-10th and included many Australian events. The AIAA Sydney chapter hosted the free public event ‘Women in Aerospace - Taking Advantage of Diversity’ in Canberra on October 5th. The 20th annual South Australian Space School, a residential program for Year 10 students, ran from October 5th-7th and included a free public astronaut lecture by Luca Parmitano.

      On 24th November 2016, the ACT Government awarded UNSW Canberra $750,000 to create a world-class Space Mission Design Facility and to jointly develop a ground station for quantum encrypted satellite communication.

      The 2016 International Global Navigation Satellite Systems Conference was held from December 6th-December 8th at UNSW and was hosted by the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research.

Country-Specific Events in 2017

  • - International Space University’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program – a 5 week residential program for undergraduates, graduates and professionals, covering a range of topics including space policy, space law, business, engineering and space science. Dates for 2017: January 9th – February 10th.
  • Applications for IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme, International/Nationwide (February deadline): Full scholarships for selected students and young professionals to attend the IAC2017.
  • - OrbitOz – Monthly space meet-ups in major Australian cities. Currently in Sydney and Adelaide, why not start one in your city?
  • - SpaceUp Australia – A space themed unconference that runs annually. Participants become presenters and guide the topics of discussion. Previous events included Melbourne (2016), Sydney (2015) and Adelaide (2014).
  • - Final Frontier Festival  – A 5 day festival run in June/July by Melbourne Space Program, including guest speakers, children’s activities, exhibitions and a space hackathon
  • Yuri's Night, International/Nationwide (12 April): The World Space Party! Come and celebrate the anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight on April 12, 1961, and the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981. Parties are held all around the country (and the world) on this night.
  • International Space Apps Challenge International/Nationwide (10-12 April): An international collaborative project-based challenge run by NASA, with Australian events registered in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth in 2016.  More than 50 technical challenges have been proposed to address space activities and the public engagement and distribution of knowledge and data from space missions.
  • Australian Space Design Competition:  A series of competitions involving the design of space infrastructure, open to high school students.  Part of the International Space Settlement Design Competition, with international finals held at Johnson Space Center in Texas.
  • - Australian Youth Aerospace Forum (AYAF), (June – July): A five-day conference which provides senior high school students with the opportunity to investigate careers and pathways in the aerospace industry. The forum is designed to showcase the various university and industry opportunities available to students upon completion of secondary school.
  • Aerospace Futures Conference, (July): Aerospace Futures is a three-day conference designed to expose over 150 university students to opportunities in the aerospace industry. During the conference, delegates will hear from a variety of industry representatives speaking on topics relevant to students who are interested in pursuing a career in aerospace. Applications closed 9/6/16.
  • National Engineering Week, Nationwide (August): An annual event to promote engineering in Australia.
  • National Science Week, Nationwide (12-20 August): An annual event facilitating a broad range of science related education and outreach activities.
  • - International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2017, Adelaide, Australia (25th-29th September): The IAC is one of the largest Space congresses/conferences; with an extensive paper presentation series, plenary lectures, special presentations, and an exhibition of space companies and organisations. The theme of the 2017 IAC is “Unlocking imagination, fostering innovation and strengthening security”.
  • Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC) Late September. ASRC is the primary annual meeting for Australian research relating to space.
  • World Space Week, International/Nationwide, (4-10 October, 2017): An international event series showcasing the role of global space activities through education and outreach events.
  • VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize (encompassing the EA Undergraduate Thesis Prize in Space Engineering). Applications open in October and close in December. Offers an Australian university student the opportunity to attend one of three 10 week NASA Academy programs, or participate in a NASA affiliated summer program, and work with a lead scientist or engineer on a current NASA project. The VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize is open to all Australian undergraduate students completing their final or honours year at an Australian University in 2017.
  • - South Australian Space School – A 3 day residential program for Year 10 students in Adelaide, Australia, that includes a visit by an astronaut. Graduates have the chance to attend National Space Camp VSSEC, a 5 day residential conference in Melbourne, Victoria. SASS 2017 marks the 21st year of the program and will be held in October 2017.


Interesting Web Links for the Space Generation in Australia 

A current database of Newspace ventures in Australia - 

Australia and New Zealand Space Groups (A directory of space related groups and jobs in Australia and New Zealand)

Groups, People, Institutions

Research and Education Groups and Facilities


(The majority of these Bachelor degrees can be combined with a double degree in Arts/Law/Computer Science/Science/Commerce/Economics/Mathematics). Also note that nearly all universities below offer PhD studies in the related fields.

Australian National Territory

New South Wales


South Australia



Western Australia


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