Karlie Noon wants the average earthling to know what's going on in space and how it affects every one of us.
In her role as astronomy ambassador for the Sydney Observatory, the Gamilaray woman gets to share that passion and knowledge with the public.
"I think it's a really important time for people to be doing this because more and more we're having conversations around what's happening up there, how we're going to use it or how we are currently using it," she said.
"The perfect example is the resources that are on the moon. Another aspect is the amount of space junk that's currently orbiting us causing chaos."
Growing up in Tamworth, Ms Noon knew very little about astronomy and the world of physics. She attended a small school with a high Indigenous population where her aptitude for mathematics and science went unnoticed.
Ms Noon's grandmother, a parental figure in her life, died when she was about 12. In the middle of grief and disengagement from learning, she left school in year 8 and continued a program of study at TAFE and tutoring by Aboriginal elders.
Her interest in mathematics brought her back to school in year 11 and 12, but it wasn't a smooth ride.
"I went back to school but unfortunately I wasn't allowed to go into the extension maths class, which was the whole reason why I went back so again during year 11 and 12 I experienced really significant disengagement," she said.
"It was really rough time ... I basically had to couch surf pretty much throughout my entire year 12."
With no prospects and no role models in her family who had finished school, Ms Noon didn't want to go down the path of getting a job at Coles or McDonald's. Instead, her modest ATAR got her into a bachelor of arts at the University of Newcastle.
"I ended up doing this philosophy course and learning a lot about logic and proofs, how to prove something, and a lot about cosmology as well, which is really cool because I never really had access to that type of knowledge," Ms Noon said.
"I always thought it was kind of beyond me, but learning about it I was so amazed and so interested. I just couldn't think of doing anything else after that."
Finally feeling like she had a purpose and a goal, she promptly switched to a combined degree in science and mathematics. It wasn't easy at first but eventually she turned passes into high distinctions.
"No one in my family had ever gone to uni, it was very foreign concept to us. And I think that kind of helped me in some sense that I didn't have too heavy of expectations on myself. I could let myself be OK with failing to keep going and not let it crush me," Ms Noon said.
At the same time she started her first job as science communicator visiting tiny rural schools to show exciting concept with lots of explosions and chemical reactions.
"I absolutely loved doing it," she said.
"My mum has severe disabilities and my sister unfortunately was also born with those disabilities and they were never really able to to work or gain meaningful employment, whereas I wasn't inflicted with that level of disability and I was very capable within my physical body.
"Just having a job gave me such a sense of pride and achievement that I could do this, and in a way I could support my family."
After completing her undergraduate degrees, she went on to study a masters in Astronomy at the Australian National University. Her research looked into the evolution of the Milky Way galaxy and the way it cannibalises other galaxies in order to keep growing.
"These galaxies, the Milky Way is basically stripping them of all of their gas and stars and nutrients and everything that it's made up of in order to fuel and feed itself, for our galaxy to keep producing stars, which we know goes on to produce planets," Ms Noon said.
Ms Noon is now working on a book which will bring together Indigenous and scientific knowledge about space.
"I have this knowledge on astronomical objects, their dynamics, and there's so much of that featured within our stories and our dreamings and our song lines," she said.
"At first glance this story might just seem like a fairytale or like a myth or whatever. But when you can look at it through an astronomer's eyes or a scientist's eyes you start seeing all the complexity that is embedded within those stories, and that it's those stories that act as a way to transfer that information to younger generations."
Ms Noon has always been one to wear her passion for astronomy quite literally on her sleeves. As well as having a wardrobe featuring stars and planets, she celebrated her graduation from University of Newcastle with a tattoo of the solar system orbiting her left arm.
"I've always been very expressive with my work and my appearance and everything that I do," she said.
"I feel like we're often kind of encouraged to not be too loud or not be too feminine in this space at least and this is really male-dominated area ... I just want to exist in spite of all of that."
She was motivated to join the Superstars of STEM program to hopefully boost the numbers of women going into physics so her experience of being one of three women in a university class of 200 would be a thing of the past.
"It's just a very isolating experience and just one that I don't want other people to experience. We should all be there," she said.
"We all have different experiences and we bring that with us in our work - even science. Even the most objective field, we still bring a piece of ourselves, it's still an incredibly creative field.
"We need to be thinking well and truly outside the box and so just having as many different minds in that area just helps moves it along."
- Superstars of STEM is a series highlighting Canberra women kicking goals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.