The Campbelltown Rotary Observatory was built in 2000. Apart from a competitive research grant, the funds for building the Observatory came mainly from the private sector, and the Rotary Clubs of Campbelltown and Koshigaya. A small grant was also provided by the NSW Department of Education. The citizens of Campbelltown and Koshigaya also contributed funds to build the observatory through their respective Rotary clubs. This is the first privately funded university observatory in Australia. Dr Ragbir Bhathal was responsible for the design and construction of the Observatory and for raising the funds from the private sector to build it. It is an excellent example of university and community collaboration in an education project for the benefit of the citizens of the Macarthur and Western Sydney regions.
It was opened in July 2000 by the Minister for the Olympics and Member of Parliament for Campbelltown, the Hon Michael Knight. A time capsule to be opened in 2050 was also buried in the grounds of the Observatory by Minister Knight.
Our mission is to:
- Train future scientists and engineers.
- Serve as a laboratory for engineering students to carry out innovative projects
- Undertake education research in engineering physics and related engineering disciplines
- Advance the search for ETI in the optical spectrum.
- Record and asses the major developments and discoveries of Australia's significant astrophysicists, physicists and engineers.
- Advance the study of 40,000 years of Aboriginal astronomy
- Undertake community engagement activities