A six-year-old Northern Territory schoolgirl from an outback cattle station will see a picture she drew blasted into space on the nose cone of a rocket, after winning a national competition.
Bailey Brooks beat hundreds of other children to be the one to decorate the nose cone of the rocket that will launch the world’s largest communications satellite 36,000 kilometres into space when it takes off later this year.
Bailey, who lives on a the Lilla Creek cattle station 400 kilometres south of Alice Springs and is a pupil with School of the Air, drew a picture that captured the judge’s attention by showing her home with a satellite dish under stars.
“I just thought about what was at my place on Lilla Creek Station. It’s my home and it’s really special because there are lots of places to play and play chasies,” she said.
“It’s about me happy at my place on the balcony in the middle of Australia with all the pretty stars,” she said.
My drawing gets printed out on the rocket that’s going into spaceBailey Brooks, aged six
The national competition was run by the National Broadband Network, the company responsible for building Australia’s new broadband network.
The Shoot for the Stars competition invited school children aged five to 12 to submit a painting or drawing to show how fast broadband will make Australia a better country.
There were winners from each state and territory, but Bailey won the major prize of being able to get her picture put on the rocket and her class have been allowed to name the rocket, which they have dubbed Sky Muster.
All winners were also awarded a trip to Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, in Canberra.
Competition judge Morris Gleitzman said the quality of the entries was a reflection of how young people are connected to a wider world of ideas and possibilities.
“All kids deserve the best education we can manage, regardless of their postcode, and high-speed broadband is going to lend an important hand in the classroom and at home,” he said.
Bailey’s mum, Tanya Brooks, is still in shock over all the attention.
“We’ve certainly had a lot of attention the last couple of days and a lot of focus around the internet and the service that we require from internet out on a station,” she said.
For the Brooks family, the last few days have been a bit of a blur.
“I think she’s starting to now understand it more now. At the start the most she was excited about going to Questacon but now she’s excited about seeing her face on TV and having her drawing going into space,” Ms Brooks said.
“One of the art teachers, Vicki Scott, from School of the Air, initiated the whole thing and suggested to the kids they all do a drawing for this competition, which they did at one of their in-school weeks in Alice Springs.
“Then the kids all brought their drawings home and were encouraged to upload them for the competition and Bailey’s home tutor Megan uploaded the drawing and the rest is history,” she said.
Ms Brooks said the broadband service at the homestead was quite fast but she would prefer it to be faster.
“With the NBN launching new satellites that should certainly speed it up a lot for us,” she said.
Despite the success of her drawing, Bailey is perhaps a little more excited about going to Canberra to visit the National Science and Technology Centre.
“I get to go to Questacon and my drawing gets printed out on the rocket that’s going into space, “she said.