Dark Sky Defender, Speaker, Tourism Consultant
With a 30 year history in tourism that includes Ansett, Flight Centre, Australian Pacific Tours, and several years with her own eco-based tourism business, Marnie returned from an astrotourism event in Europe, when she realised how truly special the Australian dark night sky is. Understanding that this natural asset needs to be preserved, she set about designating the Warrumbungle National Park as Australia’s first Dark Sky Place. Managing Sydney Observatory and Founding the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance, has seen her receive two International Dark Sky Defender awards for her personal and board efforts, and conceiving and producing a Guinness World Record attempt with over 11,500 participants, has strengthened her commitment to creating inspirational places and experiences for human connection in the world, both day and night. Recently, her work consulting on dark sky place creation in Milparinka, Wentworth, Palm Beach and the Blue Mountains has seen dark sky place-making suitable for designation with the International Dark-Sky Association or simply to draw people more generally to the night sky in remote, regional and urban places.
FAVOURITE PLACE TO TRAVEL...?
Hmmm.... it's hard to choose a favourite, because the world is so varied and different corners offer different opportunities. That said, I'm sure I'd never get sick of going to Scandinavia - the heavily fish-based diet, the culture of the people, the glorious scenery (so different to Australia), and the magnificent aurora are all very attractive. Yes, I would say that is no#1.
SELECTED CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
♦ Founding Director - Australasian Dark Sky Alliance, educating public and policymakers about light pollution and how to avoid it
♦ Manager Sydney Observatory - heritage building, astronomical museum and public Observatory in the heart of the Rocks Sydney
♦ Exclusive day tour travel provider for Siding Spring Observatory 2020-2022
♦ Festival Director (consultant) for StarFest 2014 for Siding Spring Observatory, 40th Anniversary. Key
contacts established with Astronaut Andy Thomas and science communicator Robyn Williams.
♦ Principal Investigator for the Committee for Dark Sky Park to promote the first UNESCO
designated park in Australia (Warrumbungle National Park) to promote the educational, cultural and
natural resource from which people of all ages can observe the night sky.
♦ Designed, conceived and delivered 45 fully inclusive domestic and international tour programs specifically targeted to the science-minded and academic communities.