Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has officially opened the Shoalhaven Observatory at UOW Shoalhaven.

As a former student at UOW Shoalhaven, Mr Ward said the NSW Government investment in the observatory was money well spent as this facility will be a great attraction to the campus for families, a research opportunity for students and a wonderful tool for the Shoalhaven Astronomers Society.

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another. This investment is a great coup for local astronomers, students and families,” Mr Ward said.

“I was extremely pleased to help Shoalhaven Astronomers secure a grant from the NSW Government to deliver this tremendous project but I particularly want to thank Mr John Gould from the Shoalhaven Astronomers for his dedication and hard work in getting this project delivered.

“I also thank all the members of Shoalhaven Astronomers and the University of Wollongong for their support of this project along with the former Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock.

“To quote Galileo, ‘curiosity is the key to problem solving’ and I have no doubt this equipment will intrigue and inspire many local star gazers in our region,” Mr Ward said.

Mr John Gould from the Shoalhaven Astronomers Club said:

“This was a great community event. This marks a major milestone for astrological endeavour in the Shoalhaven and represents a great quantum leap forward for the Shoalhaven community,” Mr Gould said.

“It was also a major historical event being the first public astronomical observatory in the Shoalhaven.

“Shoalhaven Astronomers would also like to acknowledge the State Government and Gareth Ward MP for Kiama for supporting our application and also for Mr Gareth Ward being involved in the official opening ceremony last night which was a fantastic success,” Mr Gould concluded.