This section fulfills an ongoing public service primarily by conducting regular public demonstrations of the night sky within the observatory premises. Demonstrators are responsible for organizing scheduled Members' Nights and also contribute to various other activities of the ASV. As a group, we convene at least once a year, or more frequently as required. Membership in the section requires meeting certain qualifications.
All ASV members are welcome to attend the monthly Members' Nights held at Melbourne Observatory. These events provide an opportunity to explore the observatory buildings and equipment, as well as observe the night sky through the large telescopes. Members are encouraged to bring along friends and family (though not to invite them remotely). Meeting details are communicated through the ASV's Newsletter "Crux Extra".
To become a demonstrator, interested individuals should be ASV members with a minimum of one year of standing and be willing to attend training sessions at the Observatory for approximately four months. Once qualified, demonstrators are usually assigned to monthly rosters, participating in public demonstrations, Members' Nights, or other occasional and scheduled events.
Training courses are conducted on an as-needed basis and are announced accordingly. The course curriculum is tailored to cover topics relevant to public demonstrations, including general astronomy theory and practice, optics, historical context, public speaking, interacting with the public, and audiovisual training. Demonstrators should be enthusiastic and capable of engaging with small groups to share their knowledge, actively participating rather than being mere observers or pursuing astronomy solely as a personal scientific hobby.