Harley Wood School for Astronomy

June 30 - July 2, 2023

Annually, postgraduate students convene for the Harley Wood School of Astronomy, occurring on the weekend before the ASA Annual Scientific Meeting. Macquarie University students are honoured to run the coordination of this year’s event.

The 2023 Harley Wood School of Astronomy (HWSA) will be held from June 30th to July 2nd at the Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort.

Registrations closed!


Two days of the event will include a program of invited presentations and discussions focused on the main theme: 

State-of-the-art facilities: What science can you do with them and how?

Our speakers will cover a range of topics, including new and upcoming optical and radio telescopes, proposal writing, data analysis, research funding and the use of supercomputers, providing participants with new skills and knowledge to add to their research toolkits.

The event also offers opportunities to network with peers and learn from experienced speakers in an informal atmosphere. 

Confirmed speakers and talk topics:

An overview of Australian and International radio telescope facilities, such as the SKA, Parkes and MeerKAT including a brief introduction to radio astronomy.

An overview of research funding landscapes in Australia, strategies for successful funding, challenges and limitations when seeking funding.

An overview of the ESO facilities, discussing some of the key science results, current limitations and future developments, etc.

An overview of Australian optical telescope facilities, such as the instruments available at the Siding Spring observatory (SSO), telescope facilities at Mt Stromlo Observatory, among others.

In this workshop we will derive Bayes Theorem from a simple example, then apply it to some mock data using MCMC.

Title: An overview of the benefits and risks associated with making infrared observations from planes, balloons and satellites

Abstract: What’s it like to observe the Universe from 40,000 feet? I had the privilege of flying a series of missions on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a modified Boeing 747 with a 2.5 metre telescope in the rear. In this talk I’ll outline the rewards and challenges of doing astronomy from the air.

An overview of accessing, using and coding for supercomputers.


Two types of ticket are available:



Both ticket types have all meals included. Those taking option 2 will need to organise their own accommodation.

Due to the anticipated number of attendees we will have shared accommodation with 2 people per cabin for ticket option 1. We are aiming to have people share with someone they know or are comfortable with. If you have any questions about this, please contact Tania Ahmed at ummeetania.ahmed@hdr.mq.edu.au 

If there is someone you would like to share with, please nominate them in the registration form, otherwise please email Tania Ahmed at ummeetania.ahmed@hdr.mq.edu.au before Friday June 9th 2023 to nominate a roommate. If you do not nominate someone or the person you nominate does not register to attend the HWSA before Friday June 9th 2023 we will allocate you a different roommate.

If we need to allocate you a roommate, we will advise you who you will be sharing with from Friday June 9th 2023. If you do not agree with the choice please email Tania Ahmed ummeetania.ahmed@hdr.mq.edu.au and we can discuss alternative options.

Registrations closed!

How to get there and back again:


The HWSA will occur at the Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort, 201 Pioneer Road Fairy Meadow New South Wales 2519

There is parking available on site at the Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort. Otherwise there are public transport options.

Bank cards can be used on all Transport NSW services, including buses or trains, or an Opal Card can be obtained at the airport. In either case, remember to tap both on and off.


For public transport directions in Sydney and the surrounding network (including Wollongong), the TripView app or Google Maps are useful and  updated live. If you get lost or aren't sure which train/bus to take, please check one or both of these Google Maps can give you a better idea of the overall route when multiple services are involved, while TripView is more reliable for live timetables. It is advisable to check for the best route before leaving; the directions below are a loose guide only.


Sydney Domestic Airport, Mascot NSW to Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort - Google Maps


To get there from Sydney Airport (about 2 hours):


Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort to Macquarie University, Macquarie Park NSW - Google Maps


To return to Macquarie University (about 3 hours):


Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort to Central, Eddy Avenue, Haymarket NSW - Google Maps


To return to Sydney:


These directions are subject to change depending on trackwork, late trains, or other changes.


Refund of commencement fee

All cancellation and refund requests must be made in writing to asa2023@mq.edu.au.

Any refund of the course fee will be subject to the timing of your cancellation:

If you need to contact the LOC directly for any reason please email Tania Ahmed at ummeetania.ahmed@hdr.mq.edu.au 


Kateryna Andrych (Macquarie University, chair)

Tania Ahmed (Macquarie University, AAO)

Elizabeth Cappellazzo (Macquarie University, CSIRO)

Lachlan Marnoch (Macquarie University, CSIRO)

Maksym Mohorian (Macquarie University)

Deepak Chahal (Macquarie University)

Pablo Corcho-Caballero (AAO, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Image credit: Adam Joyce, Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory