Nalayini’s interest in astronomy was triggered in childhood by naked eye observations of a bright comet and a total solar eclipse. She has been a member of Auckland Astronomical Society for over 30 years and joined the Board of Astronz in 2013 and has been the Chair from 2016.
Nalayini holds a Master of Science degree in astronomy from Swinburne University in Australia, is a Director of the International Dark Sky Association and the Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand.
Observing the wonders of the universe through astronomical equipment and naked eye astronomy offered by dark skies remain favourite aspects of astronomy for Nalayini and she was instrumental in the successful effort to establish Aotea / Great Barrier Island as an international IDA accredited Sanctuary. She also co-leads the promotion of New Zealand’s journey to become a dark sky nation. She has spoken at Dark Sky conferences & workshops around the world.
As a Chartered Accountant with a Master of Science degree in finance from London Business School, University of London, Nalayini is presently Executive Director of Vinstar Consulting, one of New Zealand’s leading economic and financial advisory service providers, which has government clients in 35 countries worldwide.
Nick is the longest serving Director of Astronz joining the Board in 2008 at a time he was an active Council Member of Auckland Astronomical Society. Nick's interest in astronomy extends beyond observing into cosmology.
Nick's contribution of his professional IT skills led to the creation and maintenance of a website for Astronz which enabled it to operate online and expand nationally. Recently, Nick has contributed to further modernising the systems at Astronz to make them much more customer friendly and also operationally efficient with insights to help Astronz to better serve its charitable mission.
Recently, entrepreneurial success in his IT speciality has allowed Nick to extend his interest in flying to owning his own plane and owning and and operating a flying school.
Carol holds a Bachelors (Hons) Degree in Mathematics with Management Applications (specialising in Accounting, Mathematical Modelling and Statistics) from Brunel University, Middlesex, UK.
Carol has worked in the accounting, management and administration field for more than 20 years, in a diverse range of industries.
Hannah is an avid Astronomer and is currently in her final year of her Master of Science in Astrophysics. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics at Auckland University of Technology, and majored in Radio Astronomy & Physics. When her studies are finished, Hannah is keen on researching exoplanets through Radio Astronomy.
Steve has a deep understanding of astronomical equipment and has contributed to adding to the portfolio range of Astronz.
He’s a digital native and has contributed to the efficiency of Astronz’s recently upgraded modern systems.
John has an MSc (Astronomy) and is currently researching the history of cometary astronomy in NZ as part of his PhD – he’s a student in the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland.
A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ, John was the President of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ for 3 years and is the Society’s Executive Secretary.
John’s astro-photographs have been used in many overseas books and magazines and two NZ stamps. He was the Director of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ’s Astrophotography Section for thirteen years, until 2018. He is the Director of that Society’s Comet and Meteor Section.
John became fixated with astronomy at the age of ten when his mother pointed out ‘The Pot’ in Orion. He was hooked! He joined the local Astronomical Society and started regular group meteor watches, telescope viewing and listening to astronomy talks. John lives near Gisborne where he has a range of reflecting telescopes up to 0.5-metres in diameter. He uses these to run Gisborne Astro Tours. He images with these telescopes and CCDs, and carries out astrometry of comets, asteroids and NEOs, and sends his observations to the IAU Minor Planet Center.
John has helped confirm many comet discoveries. John has also co-discovered about 20 exoplanets in collaboration with the Ohio State University. He is a co-author of more than 60 research papers and is a contributing editor for the Australian Sky and Telescope magazine. He enjoys giving talks around New Zealand on historically-famous astronomers and astronomy in general.
John is a secondary school science teacher. He enjoys surfing the great waves of Gisborne and pottering around on his small farm tending to his sheep.