National Committee for Astronomy

The National Committee for Astronomy (NCA) fosters Astronomy science in Australia and establishes links between the Academy to Australian astronomers and relevant scientific societies and serves as a link between Australian and overseas astronomers, primarily through the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The National Committee for Astronomy (NCA) carries out a formal strategic planning process on a 10-year time scale. This provides the opportunity to carry out a stock take of its capabilities and assess its impact both nationally and internationally. It also provides a vision for the future and sets priorities and develops strategies. The document follows on from the success of the committee's 2006 plan, β€˜New horizons: a decadal plan for Australian astronomy 2006–15’, 2019–20 mid-term review of the Decadal Plan for Australian Astronomy. This publication was highly influential in presenting the community's vision to stakeholders outside the research sector, including key stakeholders, the Commonwealth Government and industrial/research partners nationally and internationally.


Reports and activities

Related groups and organisations


  • Chair: Professor Virginia Kilborn
    • Swinburne University of Technology, Swinburne Inaugural Chief Scientist
    • Research expertise: Radio astronomy, astrophysics and supercomputing, galaxy formation, Square Kilometre Array
  • Deputy Chair: Professor Sarah Brough
    • University of New South Wales, School of Physics
    • Research expertise: Astronomical survey of the southern sky, Vera C. Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), galaxies over time, massive galaxies.
  • Committee member: Professor Timothy Bedding
    • The University of Sydney, School of Physics
    • Research expertise: Asteroseismology
  • Committee member: Ex-Officio: Dr Douglas Bock
    • CSIRO Space and Astronomy, Director of Space and Astronomy, Director of the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF)
    • Research expertise: ASKAP, Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory
  • Committee member: Professor Andrew Cole
    • University of Tasmania, Head of Discipline (Physics), School of Natural Sciences
    • Research expertise: Observational astronomy and astrophysics, resolved stellar populations, Magellanic clouds and dwarf irregular galaxies
  • Ex-Officio: Professor Stuart Wyithe
    • Australian National University, Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Research expertise: Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy
  • Ex-Officio: Ms. Caroline Quan
    • Department of Industry Science and Resources, A/g General Manager, International and Astronomy
    • Research expertise: International astronomy
  • Ex-Officio: Professor Stas Shabala
    • Astronomical Society of Australia, President, University of Tasmania, School of Natural Sciences
    • Research expertise: Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy, high energy astrophysics and galactic cosmic rays
  • EMCR representative: Dr Katie Auchettl
    • University of Melbourne, Astro-3d Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics
    • Research expertise: Astronomy and astrophysics, physical sciences, galaxy nuclei
  • Observer and Indigenous consultant: Karlie Noon
    • Australian National University, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Research expertise: Indigenous astronomy
  • Committee member: Distinguished Professor David McClelland FAA
    • Australian National University, Director of the Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics
    • Research expertise: General relativity and gravitational waves, lasers, quantum electronics, astronomical and space instrumentation, quantum optics, astronomical and space sciences
  • Committee member: Professor Cathryn Trott
    • Astronomy Australia Limited, ARC Future Fellow and Chief Investigator and Node Leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3D
    • Research expertise: Epoch of reionisation project at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy
  • Committee member (observer): Professor Orsola De Marco
    • Macquarie University and Director of the Macquarie Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics, AAL Board Chair
    • Research expertise: Stellar interactions and how they alter the structure and evolution of stars in multiple systems
  • Ex-officio: Dr Sarah Pearce
    • SKAO, Director of SKA Low Telescope
    • Research expertise: telescope systems, managing and operating SKA precursor facilities

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