close icon

Development   /  Darryl Thoms

Australians in Space – Reaching for the Stars

Inspiring stories of unsung relatable heroes who think Australia can be world class in space - because they already are


Impact areas




  • DIRECTOR Darryl Thoms

  • PRODUCER Darryl Thoms



This documentary follows a group of unsung Australian heroes who believe we can compete on the world stage in the space industry.

In the late 20th century, Apollo missions inspired children - dreaming of becoming an astronaut or working on world-changing missions.

We want to make space aspirational once more by celebrating Australia’s potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These areas are the genesis of disruptive innovation in the 21st century, and Australia needs to lead the way.

We learn of amazing Australians in renowned organisations including NASA, the European Space Agency, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic... and even their own billion dollar startups. We follow the journey of an amazing Australian who started a satellite company that now builds up to 40 satellites a week, and images each square meter of the globe every day.

These champions are living role models that Australia needs to show we can excel in space and reach for the stars.

Support this project

0.13% funded
  • $280,000.00

  • $360.00

  • 1

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $






Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

This documentary is about the future for Australia and National confidence.

With the dawn of the Australian Space Agency in 2018, young people and their parents need role models who are succeeding in space, and believe a career is possible.

In the next 10 years, 20,000 new space roles will be created here, and we risk a shortfall that will hold us back. By sharing stories of incredible Australians in space, we increase confidence in Australian technology, and even influence government policy and education.

Real down-to-earth problems are being solved through space technology, from farming and illegal logging, to pirates and shipping. Unless we are at the forefront of capturing and processing space data, we will continue to buy it from overseas.

This documentary encourages young people to reach for the stars, while stimulating the economy and STEM - so Australia can play its part in this rapidly growing and exciting area.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Australians in Space inspires young people and mums and dads, with real life stories of Australians succeeding in the most difficult field of all - space.

If we can do space, we can do anything.

20,000 new space roles will be created in Australia in the next 10 years, a shortfall of locals to fill these jobs risks holding us back.

Goals: Increase enthusiasm and enrolment in STEM, government support and awareness.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short Term: building confidence in students in STEM and their parents that there is an exciting future in Space - and that they are pursuing a path that has a future in Australia.

Give Australians confidence that we can do difficult things and we should be creators of tech, not just consumers of things created overseas.

Medium Term:The documentary showcases capabilities to influence government policy for school, university and business support in this rapidly growing industry, encouraging more students into STEM.

Long term: That we have strong intellectual capital and space capabilities in Australia and again be a world leader in a rapidly growing industry, leveraging our unique location and wide open spaces - giving us an advantage over other space players.

Success in this $1tn industry in 10 years will mean we can still afford Medicare and also develop sustainable energy solutions - rather than stick to cheap, old dirty technology.

The flow on effects are enormous.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The documentary will;

- inspire viewers with the stories of smart Australians doing amazing things in space and STEM
- shift conversations from reality TV and Instagram Influencers to space, the future, and STEM
- give confidence to young people that they can participate in this exciting industry and work in STEM and be makers of technology, not just consume offshore technology
- engage young people in the more detailed stories of individual success of Australians in STEM (online, longer interviews) - so they can help map their own career path in space
- share real-world, step-by-step approaches to moving into a career in space.

After a year of immersive research in this area we have uncovered tangible paths to a career in space - people just need to know about them - after being inspired.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We already have association with many groups who are informing and advising, to ensure we have a wide and unbiased view across space capabilities and developments;

- Moonshotspace, an Australian founded global space advocacy group and incubator) who are informing our documentary
- a formal advisory board is being built, including Andrea Boyd (European Astronaut Centre), Dr Gail Iles (Eurpoean Space Agency/ RMIT) , Troy McCann MoonshotSpace co-founder
- Contact and feedback from the Australian Space Agency
- Austrade in Australia/ San Francisco
-Industry NSW
- Space investors
- Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA)

We have attended various space-related events in Australia and been advised about the documentary at :
Australian Space Research Conference - Gold Coast, 3 days, 2018
United Nations Association Space Development Summit - Sydney, 2018
Avalon Air Show - Space component - Victoria 2019
Thunda / AYAA - International Rocket Launch event in rural Qld, 2019

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Direct Links to our space portal from QR codes in the credits and from the website will provide instant and always-on resources that can be dynamically updated to help Australians map a career in space.

We will provide wider resources online and links into STEM information sources for schools, universities, all the major STEM and space societies and the Australian Space Agency. The inspirational nature of the stories in this documentary will be a catalyst for action.

This documentary will provide the proof points of the final outcomes to give Australians the courage to even consider commencing the journey to space, and accessible maps of how to get there.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Web analytics across QR codes directly from the documentary and measurable click-throughs on links to resources through our website will give us access to granular data on the areas people pursue after viewing the documentary.
Positive views and discussion on STEM and Australia's capabilities and place in Space from viewer feedback will be a great indication.

Already we have had amazing feedback on the trailer from government, a space trade mission, students, astronauts, and the Australian Space Agency.