Glen Moore

2013 Alumni Award for Community Service

Coordinator, Inspiring Australia

Bachelor of Science, 1968

The University of Wollongong Vision has been refined over the years but one theme has remained constant. It is currently expressed as connecting “discovery, learning and technology to transform people and the world we live in”. Glen Moore has steadfastly followed that vision for over four decades. Glen’s career and his life achievement, the Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium, are models of transformation through connection with the community. They show an enduring commitment to opening minds, especially young minds, to wider realities and higher possibilities.

Glen Moore - astronomer, trailblazer and communicator - is a graduate and staff member of this University. He is also native to the Illawarra, finding inspiration in its landscapes and comrades in its citizens. In 1979, Glen rallied support and worked with the community to create a travelling astronomical exhibition, the Awesome Universe. Its success laid the foundations for the Wollongong Science Centre. Working with volunteers and attracting corporate sponsorship, Glen was able to transform a disused migrant hostel into one of Australia’s first interactive science centres in 1989. It was one of three landmark centres that led to the establishment of the science centre movement in Australia.

When the original Science Centre went under in the 1998 floods, Glen ensured it would be rebuilt bigger and better than before. A new Centre and Planetarium was opened in 2000, attracting $3 million in government support, more than $1 million in corporate sponsorship and considerable in-kind support, much of it due to Glen’s tireless efforts. The Centre thrives today as a unique experience, a place of enlightenment and fun. It is also Glen’s example to us all of how to engage the young and attract tourists to the region.

Since its opening, the Science Centre has attracted more than one million visitors, hosted more than 7,000 school classes and provided, through its volunteer staff program, opportunities for local people with disabilities. Its internship program for undergraduate students is internationally recognised and develops UOW graduates as informed and responsible communicators. The Centre has become the region’s most visited indoor tourist attraction and represents an important diversification of the regional economy. It is fitting indeed that Glen Moore and the Science Centre are at the heart of the University’s Innovation Campus, a place where the city and its university come together to help Wollongong and its region move into a productive future.

Glen’s knowledge and energy have been appreciated and applied from the local to the international level. His appointments range from life membership of the Tourism Wollongong Board to founding member and president of the Australasian Planetarium Society and Chairman of the NASA/CSIRO Astronomy and Space Exploration Liaison Group. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Astronomical Society and the International Planetarium Society and holds the Rotary Vocational Service Award.

Glen Moore is a rare character, immensely enthusiastic and generous of time and skills. His work and philosophy hold a message for both our graduates and the community. They might be best summed up in the words of another scientist and science educator, the great Jacob Bronowski, who wrote: “Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding”.