Competition to celebrate 60th anniversary of the Parkes Radio Telescope

The Parkes Shire Council is running a competition for kids to celebrated the 60 year anniversary of the Parkes Radio Telescope being built.
The Parkes Shire Council is running a competition for kids to celebrated the 60 year anniversary of the Parkes Radio Telescope being built.

THE PARKES Radio Telescope is the most well known telescope in Australia, and it's is coming up on special anniversary next month.

Affectionately known as 'The Dish', the telescope has played an important role in our understanding of the universe, space exploration and partaken in significant events - such as the 1969 Moon landing.

October 31 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope, and the Parkes Shire Council is hosting a competition for residents to celebrate the milestone.

The Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre is hosting the competition in collaboration with CSIRO's Parkes Telescope team.

Operations scientist at the CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope, John Sarkissian OAM, introduced the competition with a short video.

"We at the Dish are pleased to support the Parkes community in celebrating 60 years of the telescope's operations," he said during the video.

"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, and entrants are invited to submit works in five categories, or by painting a 3D model of the Dish in the Marramarra Makerspace (which is at the library).


  • Art
  • Writing
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Painting

Entries will be displayed both online and at the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre for public viewing when it is reopened.

You'll want to put your best foot forward, because the prizes are pretty exciting.

First in each category

  • A guided tour of the telescope (subject to staff availability and public health orders)
  • $50 Shop Parkes Gift Card

Two runners-up in each category

  • $50 Shop Parkes Gift Card

Honourable mentions

  • Small memorabilia from the Dish shop at the visitors centre

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!

Cultural education and library services manager Kerryn Jones said she was keen to see participants thinking outside the square.

"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," said Ms Jones.

Entries are open now, and will close at 5pm on the Friday, October 15.

For more information visit Parkes Shire Council website or the Parkes Shire Libraries Facebook page.

The Parkes Champion Post will be running plenty of content to celebrate the anniversary as well, so keep your eye out it in print and online.

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