Findon High School in Adelaide’s western suburbs has secured a place in South Australia’s space history by submitting the winning name for Australia’s first state satellite.

Fifty-seven primary and secondary schools from across regional and metropolitan South Australia answered the challenge set down in May this year to name the SASAT1 Space Services Mission satellite.

The winning name – Kanyini – was submitted by Year 11 students from Findon High School’s Reconciliation Action Plan group.

Kanyini is a Pitjantjatjara word that describes the principle of responsibility and unconditional love for all of creation. In their submission, the students were inspired by the connection of Kanyini to how the satellite data would be used to tackle real world problems.

A panel of local space industry leaders, along with an Aboriginal language expert shortlisted the numerous entries, which were de-identified to ensure an objective and transparent decision-making process by the SASAT1 Steering Committee.

APY Lands General Manager Richard King has welcomed the satellite’s APY Lands connection.

“All communities on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands are proud that the word ‘Kanyini’, a tenet of our ancient language, will be used for the new satellite,” Mr King said.

“The combination of ancient Australia and modern Australia coming together in this new space frontier will be a matter of great celebration for the first South Australians of Central Australian Deserts.”

Findon High School Principal Steve Atsalas said the school was thrilled to have their submission chosen for the SASAT1 Space Services Mission.

“The decision to submit this name was one that included all members of our school community and it is a reflection of our school’s commitment to celebrating First Nations cultures and taking active steps towards reconciliation,” Mr Atsalas said.

“This new SA satellite named Kanyini can be a symbol that acknowledges how vital the principle of Kanyini is for all humans living on Earth to ensure we care for and take responsibility for our natural resources, as the new satellite will enable us to do, more effectively.”

The satellite will be designed, built and tested in South Australia by local company Inovor Technologies, while Adelaide headquartered company Myriota will provide Internet of Things (IoT) services for the mission, collecting the data and returning it to Earth. The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is leading the mission as well as application prototyping.

The satellite will provide vital data for every-day South Australians, such as assisting farmers to monitor water levels and more accurately predict future crop yields, or offering emergency services personnel greater oversight to monitor, manage and even mitigate emergencies like bushfires.

Findon High School students will now work together with designers and APY Lands representatives to create the logo for Kanyini before it is launched into low-Earth orbit in 2022.

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