Moonward with a cultural echo: voting for ‘Coolamon’ closes tonight

By Our Reporter
Anil Fred

As 1 December unfolds, Australians are presented with a unique opportunity to leave their mark on the nation’s space exploration history. The deadline for naming Australia’s Lunar Rover is fast approaching, with voting closing at 11:59 PM (AEDT) tonight. In the spotlight is ‘Coolamon’, an entry that intertwines Australia’s Indigenous heritage with its space ambitions. Anil Fred, who proposed this culturally significant name, finds himself among the final four in a vibrant competition that attracted over 8,200 participants nationwide.

The Australian Space Agency’s initiative extends beyond the realms of science and technology; it is a celebration of Australia’s diverse cultural landscape. The naming of the rover, an integral part of the 2026 moon mission, is not just a label but a symbol of national identity and pride. As Australians cast their votes, they partake in a decision that will resonate far beyond our planet, carrying a piece of Australia’s soul to the moon.

Anil Fred, expressing his pride in being a finalist, said, “Being recognised among such a vast and talented group is a privilege. The name ‘Coolamon’ is a homage to the intricate tapestry of Australia’s cultural heritage.” Fred’s submission stands out for its deep acknowledgment and respect for the country’s Indigenous legacy.


The ‘Coolamon’ in Indigenous Australian culture is more than a mere vessel; it’s a symbol of nurturing, wisdom, and a profound connection to the Earth. This artefact embodies the values of community care and environmental stewardship, principles that resonate with Fred and mirror the ethos of exploration and discovery that space missions epitomise.

“Choosing ‘Coolamon’ as the rover’s name is not merely a tribute to the Aboriginal people of Australia but also an acknowledgement of the enduring traditions that enrich our nation,” Fred explains. This choice of name represents a melding of the past with the future, honouring Indigenous heritage while embracing the spirit of innovation and exploration.

The closing of the voting period tonight is not just a deadline; it’s a moment for the Australian public to influence a pivotal chapter in the nation’s space history. The anticipation is palpable as the nation awaits the announcement of the winning name on 6 December 2023.

In this unique moment, Anil Fred’s ‘Coolamon’ stands as a testament to the possibility of uniting tradition with modernity. It signifies Australia’s dedication to embedding its rich cultural heritage within its progressive narrative. The journey of ‘Coolamon’ to the moon, should it be the chosen name, will be a significant step in fostering a deeper sense of unity and cultural awareness across Australia.

Vote here to name Australia’s Lunar Rover.

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