It's hard to believe it was 50 years this week that I watched, cross-legged in a classroom, Neil Armstrong drop from that last rung of the ladder.
A momentous occasion in our history, in which Australia played a pivotal role, being one of only two places on earth to broadcast the moon landing.
In Canberra at Honeysuckle Creek, the old NASA space tracking station transmitted the first images and those famous words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". And then Parkes, NSW, jumped in after eight and a half minutes with a better quality feed for the world to view.
It was a significant and successful occasion, bringing with it a sense of optimism about the capacity of technology and space exploration.
The moon landing was, at the time, a triumph not of one but of many sciences - of physics and chemistry, of material sciences and physiology, of mechanical and electrical engineering, of information technology and psychology.
If you think about the particular technologies here, the admixture of so many sciences and disciplines that together make up powered human flight, it is remarkably advanced for a technology only 61 years old when we first set foot on the moon.
While this was an incredible feat of technological brilliance at the time, there is no denying that we are currently experiencing a time of unprecedented technological disruption.
From any historical distance you care to choose, we live in by far and away the most remarkable era of human innovation and technological advance humans have hitherto experienced.
In Australia, we punch well above our weight when it comes to technological innovation. From plastic bank notes, to the cochlear impact, along with artificial pacemakers, Google maps, and Wi-Fi.
At the time of the moon landing, I could not have imagined that in my time on earth there would be such a thing as wireless technology. So commonly used now, such a statement seems jarring, but the idea of accessing information, globally, immediately was not yet born.
Many people may feel anxious about what the future may bring and we cannot afford to be in denial about the challenges on the horizon.
As a nation, we must unlock the full economic potential and benefits of technological disruption, however as a society, we must ensure people aren't locked out of the reward and prosperity.
Australia's future depends on a focus and investment in science and research, which will drive innovation.
It is concerning that the latest Productivity Commission Bulletin highlighted that productivity growth in Australia has been sluggish partly due to weak investment, particularly in research and development. "The share of businesses that are innovators - which goes beyond R&D spending - is no longer growing."
This is problematic because it is essentially putting the handbrake on skills development and innovation.
Research and innovation is absolutely fundamental to the prosperity of this country, particularly if we want improved living standards, an increase in productivity, decent and well-paid jobs and to become globally competitive.
As a country, it is in all of our interests to make sure Australians are prepared for the jobs of today and also just as capable of doing the jobs of the future.
As a country we must choose to build a nation rich in technological, educational, training and employment opportunities, with a broad based engine of economic growth. This is the only way we can ensure we contribute to and share in those future awe-inspiring scientific moments.
- Brendan O'Connor is the shadow minister for employment and industry, science, small and family business.