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Star Name: Barmah

Planet Name: Bunji

“Barmah’ means ‘meeting place’ in one of the Victorian Aboriginal languages.
‘Bunji’ means ‘mate’ or ‘good friend’ in the Aboriginal language.
We are a kindergarten in the outer south eastern suburbs of Melbourne running two 4 year old kindergarten rooms. The children have had a keen interest in space since the beginning of the year, learning about our star, planets, moon and solar system. We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Walk and were very excited to enter this competition.

The entire community has been involved in coming up with our submission, with a survey being conducted amongst children, families and educators. We brainstormed to find a collective name, to enable additional exo-planets to be named in the future. The children and educators decided on 3 key areas, family & friends, native flora and Australian landmarks. For each of these collectives we narrowed it down to one name. BUNJI for family/friends as it means MATE or GOOD FRIEND. DESERT FLAME for native flora, as the depiction of the exo-planet seemed to match this name. ULURU as this is a sacred landmark in the centre of Australia and well known to the citizens of the world.

The results of our survey were revealed during Book Week celebrations, where one of our kinder friends was coincidentally dressed as an astronaut. The winner being BUNJI, closely followed by DESERT FLAME, with ULURU taking third position.

Every morning at kinder, we sing the words of the song, “we are one, but we are many and from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream and sing with one voice.” BUNJI is very representative of our community and our philosophy, “I am, because we are. (Ubuntu)”

We have chosen the name BARMAH for the star, as we felt that the friends would gather at a ‘meeting place.’ BUNJI enables any additional planets to be named after family, friends or foes.

The kinder friends have been very excited to enter this competition and anxiously await the announcement of the new name for the star and exo-planet. They are thrilled to be a part of history and to have this exciting opportunity. From an educator’s perspective, it has been a great opportunity to engage the entire kindergarten community and promote discussion between children and families about our country and it’s place in the Universe. It has been a good tool of reflection and allowed us to extend the learning of our children even beyond our own solar system.

We look forward to hearing the names of the star and exo-planet and cross our fingers that they will be the ones we have chosen!”

Carlisle Park Kindergarten