2023 ASSA Annual Awards

The Society has a number of awards to recognize the contributions of its members to astronomy in South Australia. The awards seek to encourage and recognize a diverse range of activities including notable contributions by amateur astronomers, the publication of original articles in the Society's newsletter, outstanding astrophotography, and significant contributions to Society activities by its members.

Astrophotography Awards for 2023

There are four categories of astrophotography entries:

Deep Sky

Telescopic or camera image of any Deep Sky (non-Solar System) astronomical object, not incorporating a foreground land or seascape.

Additionally, for 2023, there will be a trial sub-set category within Deep Sky, for images produced by using raw data sourced from third-party facilities, such as remote telescope-for-hire , or by using publicly-available raw data from professional sources (such as the HST). For further details, refer to the entry form for 2023.

Solar System

Image of any Solar System object, including the Sun, Moon, planets, natural satellites, and comets.


Widefield image, incorporating foreground land or seascapes, of astronomical objects such as aurora, lunar or planetary conjunction, comet, constellation, or the Milky Way.

Timelapse Video

A video or timelapse (animated) sequence of images of any celestial scene or event.

The best entry in each of these categories will receive a specific award.

From the above four categories of entry, the following three additional awards will be made:

The Craig Richardson Memorial Award – offered by the Richardson Family and selected from the Nightscape and Timelapse Video entries received involving a land or seascape foreground. Craig Richardson was a keen and active member of the ASSA from the late 1980's until 2001 and best known for his enthusiastic approach to the observation and photography of the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights.

The ASSA Junior Astrophotography Award – to an entrant 18 years or younger at the time of submission, selected from all eligible entries received.

The Overall Best Astrophotography Award – selected from among the four category winners.


All entries in the four categories above will be assessed by independent Judging.

The entry form is available HERE.

For further information on category definitions, eligibility, conditions of entry, and prize details, refer to the Rules and Conditions form HERE

The data included in all astrophotography entries must have been obtained since 1 May 2022 and must be submitted with an entry form for each image or video, to awards@assa.org.au before midnight 30 June 2023.


ASSA Service and Achievement Awards

Nominations for the following Service and Achievement Awards may be made using this form.

Annual Service Awards

The Annual Service Award is given to a current member in recognition of their service to the Society over several years up to and including the current membership year. Nominations from members are welcome - please e-mail your nomination before 30 June 2023 to awards@assa.org.au together with a brief description of why the nominated member deserves the award.

Life Membership

The Society welcomes suggestions for Life Membership at any time. These nominations should be forwarded through a Council Member.

Editor's Award

The Editor's Award is given annually by the Editor of The Bulletin for the best original article or original series of articles by a member and published in the Society's news letter in the membership year. The article (or series of articles) must be of single authorship of 50 words or more.

Bill Bradfield Astronomy Award

The Bill Bradfield Astronomy Award is awarded to an amateur astronomer who is a resident of South Australia, in recognition of their notable contribution to Astronomy either through astronomical discovery, research, or observational astronomy over an extended period of time.

This is the Society’s premier award, named after Bill Bradfield, a Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Society and discoverer of 18 comets - the most comet discoveries by an amateur astronomer in the 20th century. Bill developed a special interest in comets in 1970 when at the age of 43 he observed the bright Comet Bennett discovered by an amateur comet hunter in South Africa. Inspired by Bennett's discovery Bill set about to discover a comet of his own.

He purchased a 150mm diameter f/5.5 refractor telescope from a friend and started comet hunting on January 1, 1971. He searched for 260 hours until on March 12, 1972, he found Comet 1972f.

Bill became determined to find another comet to prove to himself and others that his first discovery was the result of more than some good luck. This he did time and time again. An inspiration to many amateur astronomers in Australia and overseas the Society is justifiably proud to have the award named in honour of its most famous member, Bill Bradfield.


Past recipients include:


Year Recipient Biography


ASSA e-Callisto Project Team

South Australian members of the e-Callisto Team (Peter Gray, Blair Lade, John Duffield, David Bennett, Tique Bennett and Duncan Campbell-Wilson) for excellence in design and construction of instruments for the recording of solar activity in radio wavelengths, monitoring and analysing solar radio outbursts and thus contributing critically to a wider international effort in solar radio astronomy.


Andrew Cool

Andrew worked with the Mid Murray Landcare SA consortium of local Councils and landcare environmentalists for more than 2 years to help establish a dark sky reserve in South Australia. Andrew established Sky Quality Meter data for the locations within the reserve area and compiled this into the submission for accreditation status.


Robert Jenkins


Robert received the Award in recognition of the excellent work he has done in the past few years in the area of variable star observing. Not only has he carried out valuable scientific observations to support various observing programs, but he has worked very hard to encourage others in ASSA to get involved as well.


David Benn

David received the Award for the creation and development of VStar. VStar is a variable star data visualization and analysis software tool, which David has provided free to the astronomical community. Visit the VStar website https://www.aavso.org/vstar-overview to download the software and for more information.


Paul Haese

Paul Haese received the Award in 2011 for his work on imaging Jupiter and contributing to the JUPOS program.


Blair Lade

Blair received the Award in 2010 for his observations of the Charon occultation. The Award was presented to Blair by Honorary Life Member Steve Cook.


Terry Moon

Terry was presented with the Award for his internationally acknowledged efforts in gathering visual and photometric observations/data of beta Gruis over the period 23 September 2003 to 6 August 2005. His observations resulted in the reclassification of beta Gruis from "slow irregular" to that of a "semiregular with poor periodicity" class. Terry conducted observations from his roll-off-roof observatory at his home and his findings were published in the Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.


Blair Lade

Bill Bradfield presented Blair with the Award for his scientific observations of Pluto. Blair co-authored a paper with the MIT which was submitted to Nature as a result of his observations.


Michael Mattiazzo

Michael has spent many nights of diligently searching for comets, doing variable star observations and occultation reports. Mike typifies the best of what we should all aspire to in observational astronomy, as Bill has before him. Too few members are involved in this, so to receive this is a great honour indeed.


Jenni Kay

Jenni has spent many years painstakingly studying dark sky objects. She has also written a book entitled "A Visual Survey of Star Cluster and Nebulae of the Magellanic Clouds".


Justin Tilbrook

At the 2001 Annual Dinner, Bill presented the award to Justin Tilbrook for his thorough research of the sky for comets. At the time the award was presented, Justin had discovered two comets and continues to search for them.


Fraser Farrell

Fraser Farrell was presented with the first award by Bill Bradfield in 2000. He received the award for:

  • consistent observation and reporting of variable stars,

  • publishing Binocular Variables for Southern Observers, a collection of observing charts and notes for neglected bright southern variables (The Dot Book), and

  • participation in international observing campaigns through the VSS, RASNZ, AAVSO and VSNET.