Sunday 31 October 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope. Affectionately known as ‘The Dish’, the telescope has played an important role in our understanding of the Universe, space exploration and significant events, such as the 1969 Moon landing.
To celebrate 60 years of ‘The Dish’, the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre in collaboration with CSIRO’s Parkes telescope team are hosting a competition and design challenge in the Parkes Shire.
John Sarkissian, Operations Scientist at CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope, has introduced the competition with a short video saying, “We at the Dish are pleased to support the Parkes community in celebrating 60 years of the telescope’s operations. The Dish has played a big role in shaping Parkes and we’re hoping you will share with us, what it has meant for you.”
The competition is open to Parkes Shire residents aged 16 and over, with five categories. Using the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope as inspiration, entrants are invited to submit works in the categories of art, writing, drama, music, or painting a 3D model of the Dish created at the Marramarra Makerspace within the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre. Entries will be displayed both online and at the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre for public viewing when reopened.
The prizes are as unique to Parkes as is the Dish: first prize in each category will receive a guided tour of the telescope (subject to staff availability and public health orders) and a $50 Shop Parkes Gift Card. The two runners-up in each category will win a $50 Shop Parkes Gift Card each. CSIRO is also donating small memorabilia from the Dish shop for honourable mention entries.
The younger generation also has an opportunity to celebrate the Dish by participating in a Design Challenge through the Marramarra Makerspace. Children under 16 can design and create their own Dish at home from objects and materials they can find around the house. Whether it be a sculpture, kitchen utensils, in the garden, baked goods or human pyramid style, let your imagination run wild.
Manager Cultural Education and Library Services Kerryn Jones said, “It is important to remember that creativity, imagination and fun are not cancelled. Let’s use these digital formats to celebrate an iconic part of our history and create some history together.”