Kirsten Banks

Kirsten Banks is a proud Wiradjuri woman with an undeniable passion for all things space and astronomy. She grew up on Ku-ring-gai country in Sydney’s Northern Beaches always loving the sky. After graduating from Davidson High School in 2014 with the title of “Most Outstanding Student”, she started a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of New South Wales with a major in Physics. Within her first year of tertiary study, Kirsten completed a successful application and was appointed an Astronomy Guide position at Sydney Observatory. It was at Sydney Observatory where Kirsten first sought out to determine where she and her ancestors came from: she learned she is of Wiradjuri descendent.   Kirsten loves to share her passion for space and astronomy. Her role in the media started in February 2017 with the publication of a feature article about her in COSMOS Magazine’s Space Profile sections. Since then, Kirsten has experienced a whirlwind of opportunities in many different media realms. She’s appeared on countless radio shows and is the resident astronomer on Triple M’s Night Shift with Luke Bona. Kirsten’s ultimate goal in life is to become a famous Science Communicator, so she takes advantage of media engagement opportunities as they happen, but Kirsten’s favourite place to be is in front of people giving public talks. Kirsten speaks regularly at Sydney Observatory, has presented at numerous conferences and loves to present Aboriginal Astronomy workshops during and outside of NAIDOC Week and National Science Week.   Kirsten has also branched out to the written word with science writtings. She was twice published in the Guardian Australia’s Opinions section before the age of 21. She is also now a published academic with a co-authored paper published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science. Kirsten is also a 2017 CSIRO Indigenous STEM Award finalist.   If you’d like to follow and support Kirsten’s journey to becoming a great Science Communicator, you can like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter with the handle @AstroKirsten.


The Guardian Australia (March 2018) “I’m following the footsteps of my Aboriginal ancestors, the first astronomers”   The Guardian Australia (May 2018) “Aboriginal Astronomy can teach us about the link between sky and land”   Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Planetary Science “The Planets in Indigenous Australian Traditions”   MAAS – Sydney Observatory “Sydney Observatory Sky Guide”  

Radio Interviews

ABC Sydney Mornings with Wendy Harmer & Robbie Buck Triple M Night Shift with Luke Bona
  • Science and astronomy speaker residency
Indigenous National Radio
  • Sharing Aboriginal Astronomy knowledge
ABC Melbourne
  • Sharing Aboriginal Astronomy knowledge during ABC Stargazing LIVE
ABC Perth
  • Sharing Aboriginal Astronomy knowledge during ABC Stargazing LIVE
Bathurst Local Radio
  • Sharing Aboriginal Astronomy knowledge on multiple accounts
Triple J’s Hack Program
  • Sharing Aboriginal Astronomy knowledge, related to my second The Guardian article
Eastside Radio: Boiling Point Science
  • Short residency as a Science speaker

TV Interviews

NITV’s The Point & SBS World News ABC TV Play School
  • Sharing general astronomy to young children on the show and to those who watch the show
ABC News Sydney
  • Promoting the 160th anniversary of Sydney Observatory
Japanese TV Documentary “Cosmic Front: NEXT” Episode about Aboriginal Astronomy French Film company “Cosmic Flows” Movie style documentary about Indigenous Astronomy from all over the world  

Web Articles

COSMOS Magazine ABC News City of Sydney Sydney Morning Herald The Australian  

Public Speaking Events

July 2017
  • UNSW Indigenous Winter School Aboriginal Astronomy workshop
  • NAIDOC Week in Parramatta Aboriginal Astronomy workshops and Sun-gazing with special telescopes
  • Science workshops with High School children before they meet Neil deGrasse Tyson
August 2017
  • Women on Mars UNSW National Science week event at Sydney Opera House Aboriginal Astronomy
  • Sounds of Space Aboriginal Astronomy Public Talk
  • Aboriginal Astronomy Talk at Parramatta Building Bridges society
September 2017
  • Australians Indigenous Doctors Conference Dinner Gala entertainment (Aboriginal Astronomy Talk)
  • MCA ARTBAR Aboriginal Astronomy Public Lecture
October 2017
  • MAAS Talking Space (Aboriginal Astronomy Public Talk)
November 2017
  • Australian Space Research Conference speech (Aboriginal Astronomy)
January 2018
  • Ngalu Warrawi Marri (Public interview about Aboriginal Astronomy at Australian Museum)
March 2018
  • MENSA Post-test presentation about Astronomy
  • Lecture for Indigenous Land and Culture course at University of Sydney
April 2018
  • March for Science Sydney
  • Lecture for Aboriginal Astronomy at University of Sydney
May 2018
  • Pre-Dinner Keynote Address about Aboriginal Astronomy at C3DIS
  • Intensive Science: Astronomy to Zoology panel discussion with Proff Alan Duffy and Victorian Lead Scientist Dr. Amanda Caples
June 2018
  • Reconciliation Week at Winc Aboriginal Astronomy presentation
  • Aboriginal Astronomy presentation at UNSW early learners centre
  • Aboriginal Astronomy presentation at Randwick Children’s Hospital under the Starlight Foundation
  • Aboriginal Astronomy presentation at Westmead Children’s Hospital under the Starlight Foundation
  • AAO Vivid Event “The Story of Light: Celebrating Australia’s Largest Telescope”


The NonSequitur Show (YouTube)