Flinders University archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman has become the first woman to be elected to the National Executive Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA).
The SIAA is the peak industry body promoting the growth of the Australian space industry and plays a key role in influencing government and industry decisions on Australia’s space related activities.
Dr Gorman, AKA @DrSpaceJunk on Twitter, who has been a member of the association for several years, is the world’s leading expert in the heritage of ‘space junk’.
She said her election came as a surprise, but that she was looking forward to being involved at such a high level in one of the world’s most exciting industries, at one of the most exciting times in the history of space exploration.
“If the government needs feedback on something in space, the SIAA is where they go,” said Dr Gorman. “It only has 63 members but represents the totality of the Australian space industry.”
SIAA runs several events each year which can be attended by members – including Dr Gorman’s colleagues at Flinders University, which recently became an institutional member.
“The main objective of the association is to represent the interests of industry to government and to raise its profile,” Dr Gorman said.
She said one of its most significant achievements in recent months had been to win the opportunity to host one of the biggest events in the global astronautical calendar.
“This year we put a successful bid together with the Adelaide Convention Bureau to host the International Astronautical Congress in 2017,” Dr Gorman said.
“For the Australian space industry this is an opportunity to put our people in the same rooms as the leading international figures in space and develop the huge potential we have here.
“It’s an auspicious year as 2017 will be the 50th anniversary of the launch of Australia’s first satellite, WRESAT-1, from Woomera.
“We were the fourth nation in space and it would be great to regain some of that momentum.”
The members elected to the SIAA Executive Council at the association’s recent AGM are: David Ball, Bill Barrett, Nigel Basheer, Russell Boyce, Michael Davis, Andrew Dempster, Rod Drury, Roger Franzen, Alice Gorman, Kirby Ikin, Jeff Kasparian, Peter Nikoloff, Chris Schacht, Jack Scott, Stephen Ward.