Mount Burnett Committee

The MBO committee is elected by its members each year at the Annual General Meeting.

James Murray

James Murray

President

President 2014 - Present

James is a founding member of MBO. He launched the outreach and (along with Onyx Murray) young observer programs. James has a PhD in astronomy and was a professional astronomer, and then banker. He now works in funding astronomy infrastructure.

Heike Reich

Heike Reich

Vice President

Vice President 2021 - Present

Heike was a long time stalwart on the committee who has represented outreach and also acted as schools liaison. Heike is a qualified teacher and put those classroom skills to good use when wrangling visiting scouts or providing support to the Young Observers team. In short if there was an educational angle to one of our activities then Heike was the person to speak to. Along with Sue, Heike founded the very successful Public Viewing nights which have been a first introduction for many current members to MBO. Outside of MBO Heike sat on the council of Emerald Secondary College and is widely sought after by parents in the Dandenong who want advice on where to school their children.

Alan Handley

Alan Handley

Membership Secretary & Shop Manager

Shop Manager 2020 - Present

Members Secretary 2021 - Present

Alan and his family joined the observatory during lockdown and is now one of our hardest working volunteers.

Anthony Ferriere

Anthony Ferriere

Secretary

Secretary - 2015 - Present

Anthony is the keeper of association records and our public officer (in olden days he would have been keeper of the club seal but we ran out of fish). Anthony is the person that knows what is happening when and who ensures we are running smoothly. With the extra governance requirements of charity status its a big job however he still has time to study towards his astronomy degree. When not administering us or being handy around the place (we have Anthony to thank for the post box and the red lights along the driveway amongst other innovations) Anthony works as an IT professional in the tertiary education sector. Anthony can be contacted on secretary@mtburnettobservatory.org

Petra Klein

Petra Klein

Committee Member

Committee Member 2020 - Present

Petra is a registered teacher and is now putting her pedagogical skills towards redeveloping MBO’s teaching and learning content.

Saskia Hunter

Saskia Hunter

Committee Member

Committee Member 2017 - Present

Saskia is a hard working committee member, you will see her online for our members night, she is always willing to answer questions and help out the members.

Jacquie Milner

Jacquie Milner

Committee Member

Committee Member 2016 - Present

Jacquie has been an amateur astronomer for 30 years, and has been active in outreach activities for 25 years of that. She spent six years under the dome at the Scitech Planetarium in Perth, and 17 years as a volunteer night-tour guide at Perth Observatory. After moving to Melbourne in 2014, she became a regular with the outreach team for Mount Burnett Observatory and also teaches the juniors in the Young Observers section. At home, she slips a video camera into the back of her 8” SCT to record lunar and asteroid occultations for the RASNZ Occultation Section, which she has been regularly observing and reporting for since 2012.

Lucinda Lodge

Lucinda Lodge

Treasurer

Tresurer 2020 - Present

Lucinda is a CPA and works in a financial role. She is bringing her experience to bear on improving our financial stability and fundraising.

Andrew Spalding

Andrew Spalding

Committee Member

Committee Member 2021 - Present

Andrew is a retired teacher and now a key member of our outreach team.

Natasha Alexandrou

Young Observers Coordinator

Young Observers coordinator 2020 - Present

Natasha is a software developer working in finance. She has a degree in science and is involved in “Code Like a Girl”.

Natasha is the Coordinator for the Young Observers, she has a great team as well that works with her. She is also helping to assists Kim with Code Club.

Jo Blannin

Jo Blannin

School and Scouts Program Leader

Schools and Scouts Program Leader 2020 - Present

Jo lectures in STEM education and is also a qualified teacher.

Kim Steere

Committee Member

Committee Member 2021 - Present

Code Club Coordinator which is she enjoys teaching them great new space design activities. She also helps out at some outreach events as well.

Library at the observatory is run, looked after with a little help from other committee members, but been a Librarian she has a great knowledge of all the books.

Deborah Barber

Deborah Barber

Outreach Coordinator

Outreach Coordinator 2020 - Present

Deborah is a former nurse now studying her postgraduate qualification in astronomy.

Previous Committees

The MBO committee would like to recognise the previous dedication from past committee members and acknowledge them here:

2020-2021

James Murray – President
Heike Reich – Vice President
Anthony Ferriere – Secretary
Lucinda Lodge – Treasurer
Jacquie Milner – Director of Astronomy
Kim Steere – Events Coordinator
Emma Grondman
Tony Semmens
Jill Semmens – Merchandise Manager
Saskia Hunter – Diversity Officer
Neil Creek – Astrophotography Coordinator
Jaymee Grondman
Alan Handley – Shop Manager
Jo Blannin
Petra Klein – Online Coordinator
Natasha Alexandrou – Young Observers Coordinator

2019-2020

James Murray – President
Jacquie Milner – Vice President, Director of Astronomy, Outreach Coordinator
Anthony Ferriere – Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Emma Grondman – Membership Secretary
Tony Semmens – Deep Sky Viewing Officer
Jill Semmens – Merchandise Manager
Saskia Hunter – Telescope Sub Committee Coordinator, Diversity Officer
Kim Steere – Events Coordinator
Stephanie Rowlands – Science Officer
Neil Creek – Astrophotography Coordinator
Stuart Lyall
Jaymee Grondman – Outreach Coordinator
Ray Schmidt

2018-2019

James Murray – President
Sue McArthur – Vice President
Anthony Ferriere – Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Emma Grondman – Membership Secretary
Barry Cleland – Librarian
Jacquie Milner – Director of Astronomy, Outreach Coordinator, Young Observers Coordinator
Tony Semmens – Deep Sky Viewing Officer
Saskia Hunter – Telescope Sub Committee Coordinator, Diversity Officer
Duane Hamacher – Cultural Astronomy Coordinator
Stephanie Rowlands – Science Officer
Heike Reich – Outreach Coordinator / Schools Liaison Officer
Neil Creek – Astrophotography Coordinator
Alex Obrads – Friday Night Coordinator
Jaymee Grondman
Mel Miles
Ray Schmidt
Jill Semmens

2017-2018

James Murray – President
Sue McArthur – Vice President
Anthony Ferriere – Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Ken Beard – Observatory Curator
Barry Cleland – Librarian
Braeden Borg – Deep Sky Coordinator
Neil Creek – Astrophotography Coordinator
Jacquie Milner -Young Observers Coordinator
Emma Grondman
Duane Hamacher
Saskia Hunter
Heike Reich
Stephanie Rowlands
Ray Schmidt

2016-2017

James Murray – President
Sue McArthur – Vice President
Anthony Ferriere – Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Onyx Murray – Membership Secretary
Ken Beard – Observatory Curator
Barry Cleland – Librarian
Braeden Borg – Deep Sky Coordinator
Jacquie Milner -Young Observers Coordinator
Emma Grondman
Heike Reich
Stephanie Rowlands
Ray Schmidt
Lindsay Stodden
Perry Vlahos
Lachlan Wiltshire

2015-2016

James Murray – President
Ray Schmidt – Vice President
Anthony Ferriere – Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Onyx Murray – Membership Secretary
Ken Beard – Observatory Curator
Barry Cleland – Librarian
Braeden Borg – Deep Sky Coordinator
Marilyn Comerford
Roslyn Gupta
Heike Reich
Lindsay Stodden
Perry Vlahos
Lachlan Wiltshire

2014-2015

James Murray – President
Ray Schmidt – Vice President
Lindsay Stodden – Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Dianne Luc – Membership Secretary
Ken Beard – Observatory Curator
Barry Cleland – Librarian
Braeden Borg – Deep Sky Coordinator
Marilyn Comerford
Roslyn Gupta
Onyx Murray
Heike Reich
Perry Vlahos

2013-2014

Perry Vlahos President
Ray Schmidt Vice President
David Paxton Secretary
Bob Andrews – Treasurer
Dianne Luc Membership Secretary
Barry Cleland Librarian
Ken Beard Observatory Curator
James Murray Outreach Officer
Marilyn Comerford
Gordon Livingstone
Heike Reich

2012-2013

Perry Vlahos President
Barry Cleland Vice President
Ray Schmidt Secretary
Ed Chatwin Treasurer
Dianne Luc (ex-officio) Membership Secretary
Ken Beard Observatory Curator
James Murray Outreach Officer
Bob Andrews
Craig Bankowski

2011-2012

Perry Vlahos President
Barry Cleland Vice President
Ray Schmidt Secretary
James Murray Treasurer
Dianne Luc (ex-officio) Membership Secretary
Ken Beard Observatory Curator
Alfred Klink

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