where we go on a roadtrip to Woomera in search of space junk
In 2006 we took a roadtrip to Woomera in South Australia, wanting to see the fabled rocket-testing, weapons testing site – we were surprised at what we found. Woomera the traditional country of the Kokatha people is now owned by the Defence Department. It's essentially a company town, rather than a country town.
Woomera is a place that occupies a singular and contradictory position in the Australian cultural landscape. It is a place of actual and imaginary space junk, an ageing Rocket Park and a town with a shrinking population. It was once the centre of Australia's defence program - testing rockets and sending Australia's first satellite into orbit. 4000-7000 people lived there. Today there is about 200 people living in a purpose-built town surrounded by the Woomera Prohibited Area. In many ways it exemplifies modernity's contradictions and paradoxes.