A six year old girl from the Northern Territory was declared the winner of the Shoot for the Stars competition originally run by nbn™.
The competition, which invited kids aged 5-12 to submit their original paintings or drawings to illustrate how fast broadband will help make Australia a better country, also gave the children a chance to have their work displayed on the rocket that will launch a communications satellite 36,000kms into space.
Six year old Bailey Brooks from Lilla Creek station was named the winner. Her entry was selected among the hundreds that were submitted, and was chosen as the winning entry of the nationwide competition.
Bailey, together with her remote classmates from the School of the Air in Alice Springs, were also given the privilege of naming the satellite, which they now call “Sky Muster.” The origin of the name refers to the gathering of cattle, and how this translates to the satellite helping to “round up” and connect Australians together.
According to competition judge and creative children’s author, Morris Gleitzman, the quality of submitted entries serves to demonstrate that the Aussie traditions of creative thinking and cheekiness are alive and well.
She said that the imagination of children have always run at millions of megabytes per second, making it exciting for them to see that communications technology is catching up at last. It can be seen in their illustrations that they relish their connectedness not only to fellow Australians, but to a wider world of ideas and possibilities as well.
Mr. Gleitzman also believes all children deserve the best education a country and its people can manage, regardless of their postcode. To him, high speed broadband will be lending an important hand in both the classroom and at home. The launch of Sky Muster means fewer kids will miss the digital bus.
Bailey Brooks, schooled remotely via satellite Internet, was excited about her nationwide competition win.
“I felt special when I found out I won. My drawing is me with a satellite dish on my house and all the stars in the sky. The satellite helps me and my friends do our school work,” she said.
As the first of two satellites to be sent into space by nbn™, the Sky Muster’s launch is scheduled for next year. It is expected to play a crucial part in delivering fast broadband services to over 200,000 homes and businesses – leveling the playing field between bush and city in terms of Internet speeds.
Apart from a national winner, the judges of the competition also chose winners coming from each participating state who will be given a commemorative plaque as an award for their school, together with a trip to Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre.
Article originally published as: Blast of glory for outback six-year-old