Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program Opening Ceremony

South Australia is very proud to be home to this prestigious international program hosted by the International Space University in Strasbourg and the University of South Australia. This intensive five-week live-in program has a global reputation for providing quality education in key space knowledge areas. 

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  • Anthony Murfett, Acting Head of the Australian Space Agency
  • Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia
  • Mr Juan de Dalmau, President, International Space University
  • Dr Omar Hatamleh, Program Director, Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program
  • Dr Ady James, Program Co-Director, Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program
  • Ms Ann Ferguson, Mayor of Mount Barker District Council

I thank Uncle Lewis O’Brien for his Welcome to Country.

I too acknowledge that we meet today on the traditional lands of the Kaurna People and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country.

It’s a great pleasure to be able to join you this afternoon for the official opening of the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program.

South Australia is very proud to be home to this prestigious international program.

It is hosted by the International Space University in Strasbourg and the University of South Australia – a unique joint space education venture.

This intensive five-week live-in program has a global reputation for providing quality education in key space knowledge areas.

And looking around this room, it's exciting to see so many aspiring young space professionals coming together to share their knowledge, ideas and ambitions.

There couldn’t be a more fitting place than Adelaide to host this program.

Because for any of our overseas visitors who may not be aware, it was recently announced that the Australian Space Agency will be established here.

Moreover, the Agency will be situated on Lot Fourteen.

This is our new innovation precinct being developed at the opposite end of North Terrace from this lecture theatre.

It is already humming with the passion, energy and entrepreneurial outlook of South Australia’s space community.

There was intense rivalry from different parts of Australia to secure our national space agency.

The outcome is a great tribute to the work, dedication and professionalism of our local space community.

Coming so soon after the announcement, this international studies program will make a significant contribution to building and maintaining that community and fostering international collaboration.

The Australian Space Agency will help drive growth in our nation’s space sector.

In turn, this will open new doors for local businesses and create high tech, high paid jobs for decades to come.

This national agency will elevate our space activities to the next level and connect us even more closely with the international space community.

Importantly, it will also create new learning pathways and opportunities for all of you in this room today as the future leaders of this exciting industry.  

I don’t need to tell this audience that the possibilities of space are infinite.

In the past year alone, Australia has made considerable progress in developing our own space industry.

There is plenty of incentive to do so.

We are seeking a share of a global space economy already valued at AUS$420 billion and expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2030.

To be successful, a space sector which is becoming increasingly competitive will require a highly educated workforce and excellence in research capability and collaboration.

That’s why activities like this Studies Program are so important.

In addition, in South Australia each year we award five budding local space innovators with scholarships worth $20,000 to study overseas from the $4 million Space Innovation Fund.

Applications for 2019 will open in May.

This year, we again welcome students from the UAE to the Mike Roach Space Education Centre at Hamilton Secondary College.

Perhaps most importantly, we eagerly await the outcome of the current round of Cooperative Research Centre bids.

The SmartSat CRC, led by UniSA and Nova Group, would create Australia’s largest, nationally coordinated ecosystem of space research-industry collaboration.

This CRC would provide opportunities to further your interests and undertake research in space technology related to small satellites and their application.

There is little doubt that all of this effort will grow the Australian space industry’s capability and make it a significant player in the international space economy.

The number of Australian space companies is growing rapidly.

In South Australia alone, six new companies have been established in the past 18 months.

Real high-tech career opportunities are starting to emerge for young South Australians to turn their innovative ideas into high-growth businesses.

Through initiatives in our education system and our scholarship programs, my government will continue to encourage South Australians to pursue opportunities as the world rises to the challenges of the final frontier.

There couldn’t be a better time for people like yourselves participating in this Program over the next five weeks.

This year's Program is packed with public lectures, field trips and panel discussions, providing great insights into key space topics.

I trust this experience will open your eyes to the many new career options opening up in the lucrative space sector.

It’s now my pleasure to declare open the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program for 2019.

I wish you all a successful and enjoyable Program, and I hope your participation helps pave the way for a future career in space.

Thank you

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