Humans in the Eternal Cycle of Stars

A fascination with the stars and other celestial bodies has been common across all civilisations throughout human history. Astronomical events have been variously interpreted as symbols of disruption, change, renewal, and hope. Learn more about the role of astronomy in Australian Indigenous, European, and Arabic cultures and their different approaches to practices, instruments, and star knowledge.


Jessie Ferrari is an Indigenous person of the Yorta Yorta people, pursuing Ecology at the University of Melbourne. They are currently in the works of writing a paper about Kulin Nation star, plant and animal knowledges and how these knowledge systems overlap, especially in regards to seasonal patterns.

Associate Professor Duane Hamacher is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. He researches astronomy in a cultural, social and historical context, learning about the scientific layers of traditional star knowledge, and looking at ways to safeguard this collective heritage for the benefit of all.

Dr Gerhard Wiesenfeldt is Lecturer of History of Science in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He researches the relationship between academic and practical knowledge in the physical and mathematical sciences including astronomy – in early modern Europe.

Moderated by Dr Fallon Mody, Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

Being Human 2021

This presentation was produced in collaboration with the 2021 Being Human Festival. Founded in the UK as the only national festival of the humanities, Being Human is now a global celebration dedicated to demonstrating the breadth, diversity and vitality of the humanities.

Explore the full Faculty of Arts international hub program here