ASTRONOMY TALK (Stars of the Tagai, Mabo and the Republic)

The free talk by Dr Ragbir Bhathal, Western Sydney University will be held on Saturday 28 April 2018 from 5pm to 6pm in Lecture Theatre G.03, Building 21, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown Campus.

See the stars and other wonderful celestial objects at the Observatory through telescopes provided by the Observatory and the Macarthur Astronomical Society on Saturday 28 April 2018 from 6pm to 9pm. No bookings required. Free of charge.

Dr Ragbir Bhathal was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in the UK on 17 March 2017. The Society is one of the oldest scientific societies in Europe.


Dr Ragbir Bhathal will giving a talk to over 200 students at Riverstone High School as part of the Cross-Curriculum program on 2nd August at 9.30am. The talk will discuss the Dreamtime origin of the universe, how the Indigenous people interpret the night sky, the difference between Indigenous astronomy and contemporary astrophysics, and the need for students to take up careers in engineering.

Dr Ragbir Bhathal will be giving a Cross-Curriculum talk on Captain Cook, Mabo & the Stars of the Tagai to students from Korowal School on 23 August 2016 at 10am. He will also illustrate the talk with hands-on props.


The Campbelltown Rotary Observatory in association with the Macarthur Astronomical Society are holding their Spring astronomy night on Saturday 20th August from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. The astronomy night is free of charge. No booking is necessary. Just turn up. The night will be cancelled if it is cloudy or rainy.


Dr Ed Kruzins, the Director of the Deep Space Communication Complex in Canberra will be giving a lecture on the latest developments on the NASA Deep Space Network on 25 August 2016 at 7pm in Building 30: Lecture room G.213, WSU Campbelltown Campus.  Among other things he will also be discussing the New Horizons Pluto Mission and the Juno Mission to Jupiter. The talk is organised by the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory and the Macarthur Astronomical Society.


The highly successful Engineering Frontiers program will be held on 13th and 14th September at the University's engineering laboratories at the Kingswood Campus. It is aimed at innovative and creative students in Years 9 to 12. It will consist of talks on the latest advances in engineering, hands-on laboratory sessions, an Engineering Quiz and a build the bridge challenge. Since places are limited students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The application form can be downloaded from WESTERNSYDNEY.EDU.AU/ENGINEERINGFRONTIERS. For more information phone: 02 4736 0101.

Australia in the Era of Global Astronomy

Australian astronomers have released their decadal plan for astronomy for the years 2016 to 2025 (Australian Academy of Science 2015). It is an ambitious plan that takes into account their limitations, advantages of location, expertise and world standing in the international world of astrophysics. They have called it, appropriately, Australia in the Era of Global Astronomy. The global approach is a reflection of the Australian government's push to open up Australia to the world (Office of the Chief Scientist 2014). In fact, over the past few years, policy makers both in government, industry and the universities have begun to realize that to survive in the highly competitive digital age of the 21st century Australia has to embrace globalization because markets, skills, knowledge and scientific research are increasingly moving on a global scale. Read More...

Rotary Club Awarded Excellence in Partnership

The Western Sydney University awarded the 2014 Excellence in Partnership Award to the Rotary Club of Campbelltown for the establishment of the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory. Find out more (DOCX, 802.66 KB) (opens in a new window).

Rotary club awarded Excellence in Partnership Award

Talk To Schools

Engineering & Searching for ET – 18 March 2015

Dr Ragbir Bhathal will be giving an Invited Talk to high achieving primary school students from Kingswood Primary School. The talk will focus on engineering and the latest developments in the search for ET. The talk will be held at the Kingswood Primary School at 11.30am.

Programs For Aboriginal Students

A number of hands-on activities in engineering and astrophysics were conducted throughout the year for Aboriginal students from the Campbelltown area, the Koori student program and students for rural NSW.

2014 OLTC Award For University Teaching


Dr Ragbir Bhathal was awarded the Federal Government's Office for Learning & Teaching 2014 Citation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Specifically the award was 'for sustained curriculum and resources development using research-led, innovative authentic methods to support learning and teaching for a diverse cohort of engineering physics students'.

Watch This Space: Observatory On The Hill

Observatory on Hill

The Campbelltown Rotary Observatory is in the process of being re-built and will be opened to the public and schools in 2015. Please see announcements in the media.

Need For a Science Centre

Dr Ragbir Bhathal has proposed that a hands-on Science Centre (PDF, 918.72 KB) (opens in a new window) be built to encourage young boys and girls to take up careers in science and engineering. There is great support for such a Centre from the community.

Past News and Events

Aboriginal Astronomy and the Clash of the Cultures

Award winning author, Dr Ragbir Bhathal will be giving a talk on Aboriginal Astronomy and the Clash of the Cultures as part of the University's 25 Years Celebrations.

Date: 25 August 2014
Time: 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm
Location: Building 30, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown Campus

Please RSVP your attendance with

For more information, please see the Aboriginal Astronomy and the Clash of the Cultures - Flyer (PDF, 7390.18 KB) (opens in a new window)

NASA Space Camp

Dr Ken Silburn (Leader), Dr Ragbir Bhathal and Professor Bill Price will be conducting a space science and engineering program for over 60 students from schools in the Western suburbs of Sydney who have been selected to  attend the NASA Space Camp later this year at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama. The program will be run on Monday 30 June at the Campbelltown Campus.

Science and Engineering Activities

Dr Ragbir Bhathal conducted a hands-on physics and engineering activities for over 60 Aboriginal students in the Physics Laboratory at Western Sydney University, Campbelltown Campus on Friday 20 June 2014. The activities were aimed to encourage young Aboriginal students to take up careers in science and engineering.

Briar Road Public School Event

Over 300 students at the Briar Road Public School in Campbelltown participated in hands-on activities on Friday 6 April 2014. The activities were organised and run by Dr Les Vozzo, student teachers and Dr Ragbir Bhathal. Dr Vozzo and Dr Bhathal are planning a hands-on facility to interest primary school students in the fields of science and engineering.

"What it's really like to live and work on the International Space Station"

Dr Gregory Chamitoff former NASA Astronaut

Dr Gregory Chamitoff, former NASA Astronaut will be giving a public lecture at the Campbelltown Campus on 18 June 2014.

For information and booking, please see the University's 25th Anniversary Public Talk - Dr Gregory Chamitoff, former NASA Astronaut

Book Launch

Mt Stromlo Observatory

Dr Ragbir Bhathal's book (Mount Stromlo Observatory: From Bush Observatory to the Nobel Prize) written with Professor Harvey Butcher (former Director of Mount Stromlo Observatory) and Dr Ralph Sutherland (astrophysicist at the Mount Stromlo Observatory) was launched by the ACT Minister for Education & Training at the Australian National University on 2 December 2013. Over 100 people attended the launch of the book. The book published by CSIRO Publishing is on sale in good bookshops throughout Australia.

Read the Speech by Ragbir Bhathal (PDF, 239.06 KB) (opens in a new window) given at the Book Launch on 2 December 2013.

Talk in 2014

Professor Brian Schmidt

Professor Brian Schmidt, the 2011 Nobel Prize winner will be giving a public lecture at the Campbelltown Campus on 21 February 2014. Further details will be posted shortly.