The Society

The Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) was formed in 1966 as the organisation of professional astronomers in Australia. It was incorporated in the ACT in 1993. The operation of the Society is governed by its Constitution and By-laws and administered by its Council. The purposes of the ASA are described in its Statement of Purpose.

Association Number : A2224

Australian Business Number (ABN) : 37 660 297 848


What is the ASA?

The Society has adopted a structure in which topical interest groups may be formed, known as Chapters. Currently there are four Chapters:

The History of the ASA

The formation of the Society has been described in a journal paper by ASA member Nick Lomb: How Astronomers Focused the Scope of their Discussions: The Formation of the Astronomical Society of Australia The paper is in the Historical Records of Australian Science which should be accessible to most local ASA members through their institutional library. If not, a preprint version can be found at USQ preprint server.

The ASA in Australian Astronomy

The ASA is one of three national organisations in Australian astronomy.

The ASA provides a community forum for Australian astronomers and represents their interests individually and collectively. The Society fosters Australian astronomy through regular scientific meetings, the publication of a scientific journal, and workshops and activities to support students and early-career researchers.

The National Committee for Astronomy (NCA) is a committee of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS). The AAS is Australia's link with the International Council for Science (ICSU) and its constituent bodies and committees, in particular the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The NCA also carries out regular discipline reviews (most recently the 2005 Astronomy Decadal Plan and 2011 Mid-Term Review) and addresses other issues of community-wide significance.

Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL) is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee whose members are Australian universities and research organisations involved in astronomical research. AAL manages programs providing access to astronomy infrastructure and is guided in its activities by the Astronomy Decadal Plan. Unlike the NCA, AAL is a legal entity and can hold or disperse funds on behalf of the astronomy community.


The Society provides a representative on:

The ASA is Trustee of the Foundation for the Advancement of Astronomy (FAA). The FAA is a tax-deductible Foundation intended to enhance the ASA's efforts to promote Astronomy and related fields in Australia, and to recognise and support excellence in those fields. The purposes of the FAA are very broadly defined to allow the support of prizes, scholarships, research and facilities.

The Society is a member of:

The Society is a signatory to the Washington Charter that acknowledges the responsibility of astronomers to effectively communicate astronomy to the public for the benefit of all.

The Society also maintains a list of Australian Astronomical Societies. One function of this list is as a reference for NSW Police for the purposes of regulation surrounding hand-held laser pointers (see the ASA's Astronomy Factsheet No.22 on laser pointers). Listing implies no endorsement of any Society or its activities.


The ASA web pages are primarily intended to provide information for the professional astronomy community. The ASA also provides the Australian Astronomy web site which provides information on astronomy in Australia for the amateur astronomy community and the general public.

Information is distributed to members primarily via an Email Exploder, with recent emails archived.

Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA)

The ASA publishes an on-line refereed journal, the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA). Immediate on-line access is a privilege of most classes of ASA membership, or may be purchased by libraries and other organisations. All papers are archived at the NASA ADS archive. There are no pages charges. PASA is published by Cambridge University Press.


IAU 2003 - XXVth General Assembly (GA) of the IAU

Through the NCA and ASA, Australian astronomers accepted an invitation by the IAU to host the XXVth General Assembly (GA) of the IAU between July 13 and 26, 2003. Many ASA members participated in all aspects of the organisation of the General Assembly which was extremely succesful, presenting Australian astronomy to the visiting astronomers and the public.

The Final Report (pdf 43 pages/480kB) on the General Assembly is available, along with Report Annexes (pdf 116 pages/3.8MB) giving more details and associated documents.

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ASA Reports

Several Society reports are publicly available:

Some other documents are not publicly available. Please contact one of the ASA Secretaries if access is required.

Reports to the 2017 AGM

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The ASA Council

The business of the Society is conducted by a Council elected by a ballot (if necessary) of the members every two years. The Council also invites one student member, elected by the students every year, to attend meetings as an observer, to represent the interests Australian postgraduate students at the meeting and report back to the student members.

ASA Executive

Prof. Stuart Wyithe
University of Melbourne
Ph: 61-3-8344-5083 Mob: 61-3-9347-4783
Email: swyithe -@-


A/Prof. Cathryn Trott
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Curtin University/ICRAR
Bentley, WA 6845
Ph: 61-8-9266-1306
Email: Cathryn.Trott -@-


Prof. Virginia Kilborn
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Swinburne University of Technology
PO Box 218, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Ph : 61-3-9214-4380 Fax: 61-3-9214-8797
Email: vkilborn -@-


Kate Gunn
Chief Operating Officer, CAASTRO
School of Physics, The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Ph : 61-2-9351-2893 Mob: 411-466-080
Email: kate.gunn -@-


SECRETARY (contact for membership issues)
A/Prof. John O'Byrne
Sydney Institute for Astronomy
School of Physics, The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Ph : 61-2-9351-3184 Fax: 61-2-9351-7726
Email: john.obyrne -@-


Dr Marc Duldig
School of Mathematics and Physics
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 37, Hobart TAS 7000
Ph: 61-3-6226-2022 Fax: 61-3-6226-2410
Mobile: 0421-757285
Email: marc.duldig -@-


Other Council positions

Dr Michael Brown
School of Physics
Monash University
Vic 3800
Ph: 61-3-9905-4498 Fax: 61-3-9905-3637
Email: Michael.Brown -@-


Dr Tanya Hill
Museum Victoria
GPO Box 666, Melbourne Vic 3001
Ph: 61-3-9392-4503 Fax: 61-3-9391-0100
Email: thill -@-


CHAIR, Editorial Board for PASA
Prof. Melanie Johnston-Hollitt
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Curtin University/ICRAR Bentley, WA 6845
Ph : 61-
Email: Melanie.Johnston-Hollitt -@-


Ms Leonie Chevalier
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Swinburne University of Technology
PO Box 218, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Ph : 61-3-9214-8502 Fax: 61-3-9214-8797
Email: lchevalier -@-



Dr Krzysztof Bolejko
Sydney Institute for Astronomy
School of Physics
The University of Sydney
Email: krzysztof.bolejko -@-


Dr. Elisabete da Cunha
Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
Mt Stromlo Observatory
The Australian National University
Email: Elisabete.daCunha -@-


Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith
CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science
Email: lisa.harvey-smith -@-


Professor John Lattanzio
Monash Centre for Astrophysics
School of Physics and Astronomy
Monash University
Email: john.lattanzio -@-


A/Prof. Daniel Zucker
Macquarie University /
     Australian Astronomical Observatory
Email: daniel.zucker -@-


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Past Council members (to July 2017) are listed in the following files:

A list of all Honorary Fellows of the Society to date is available.