The Perdrix Address


Many people consider John Louis Perdrix (1926-2005) to be the “father” of NACAA.

He created the convention's current name for the 5th convention, held in Melbourne in 1972. He also created its pronunciation, which rhymes with "backer" or "hacker."

He contributed in many other ways over the following decades: he presented at nearly every event, edited and printed several editions of the proceedings, served on the local organising committees in both Melbourne (1972) and Perth (1984), and with a few helpers ran the 2000 NACAA in Fremantle.

John also created the Astral Award medal for the best presentation at NACAA, a tradition that he started in 1986 and that still continues today.

John worked tirelessly for more than thirty years to improve the quality of NACAA, and tried to make it a truly national conference for serious amateur astronomy in Australia and beyond. He also played an important role in promoting excellence in the wider amateur astronomy community by publishing the Australian Journal of Astronomy and the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

John attended his last NACAA in Hobart in 2004, where he played an important role in the meetings that eventually led to the formation of NACAA Inc in 2007. He passed away in 2005, returning from an IAU meeting in Moscow.

The Perdrix Address

Following his death, the newly formed NACAA Secretariat discussed creating a fitting memorial for John’s contributions to NACAA. In 2009, it agreed to create the Perdrix Address – an invited presentation by a distinguished amateur astronomer at each NACAA.

The Secretariat intends that the Address will recognise the contributions made by the speaker to NACAA and the amateur astronomical community in Australia. These are not limited to technical or observational contributions, which are recognised by other awards. They may also include such things as furthering the aims and objectives of NACAA, specific achievements, popularising astronomy in the community, organisational or creative contributions, etc.

Speakers to date

2010 Dr Tom Richards, Opportunities and Plans: the Directions of Southern Hemisphere Variable Star Research
2012 Martin George, The Life of Grote Reber
2014 Dr Barry Adcock, The Great Melbourne Telescope: Why Did They Do That?
2016 Brett McMillan, 50 Years of NACAA
2018 Stephen Russell, NACAA Past, NACAA Recent, and NACAA Future