Restoration Project

The goal of the GMT project is to restore the telescope to working order so that it may be used for educational and public viewing.

In August 2008, the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Museum Victoria and Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue the feasibility of restoring the GMT and reinstating it in its original building at the former Melbourne Observatory site, adjacent to the Botanic Gardens.

The project will conduct a careful, step by step approach to test all aspects of the financial and technical feasibility. There are many challenges – technical, operational and funding – and these will be jointly resolved as we go along.

Each partner brings distinctive expertise and oversight to the project:

  • The ASV brings astronomical, optical and engineering skills, and has a membership willing to volunteer to assist with the project.
  • The RBG has responsibility for the former Melbourne Observatory site, and brings heritage and public program skills.
  • Museum Victoria has responsibility for the GMT as part of its collection, and brings curatorial, conservation, engineering, education and interpretation skills.

The project is overseen by a Great Melbourne Telescope Project Coordination Committee, comprising:

  • Barry Adcock, Astronomical Society of Victoria
  • Richard Barley, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
  • Dr Robin Hirst, Director, Collections, Research & Exhibitions, Museum Victoria
  • Dr Richard Gillespie, Head, History & Technology, Museum Victoria
  • George Littlewood, Secretary
  • Dr Philip Moors, CEO, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
  • Jim Pollock, Astronomical Society of Victoria



  • Thomas Grubb’s builder’s plate on the Great Melbourne Telescope following the 2003 bushfires at Mount Stromlo.
    Source: Mount Stromlo & Siding Springs Observatories, Australian National University