About Us

Leila: opal gouger, artist, tour guide, the Chair of the SA Arid Lands Kingoonya Landscape Group, a board member of the region’s peak tourism body: Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia Tourism Committee (FROSAT) and works at the Andamooka Post Office.

  • Leila is an Andamooka based artist with experience in using many mixed medias, acrylics, photography, graphic design and opal cutting
  • Leila is creating new ways of presenting raw opal with resins and polymer clay
  • In 2022, Andamooka Observatory crew: Leila, Conan and Dave the Mad Scientist will appear in a new Discovery Channel series called ‘Opal Hunters: Outback Odyssey’ that will premiere later in this year. ‘Opal Hunters: Outback Odyssey’ follows the hugely successful Outback Opal Hunters; a series that was shown in over 100 countries worldwide and was Foxtel’s #3 Factual program in 2021
  • Leila is a member of the Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA), the Space Industry Association of Australia, the Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA), The South Australian Museum, Mars Society Australia (MSA) and the Andamooka Lapidary Association
  • Leila’s ‘Blacklight Eromanga Sea Exhibition’ was on display from 5th May – 18th June 2021 at the Roxby Downs Art Gallery. ‘Marine creatures of Australia’s ancient inland sea emerging through the black light. Sculptures, canvas and jewellery moulded, shaped and created into Belemnites, Jellyfish, Ammonites and Fossils of the Eromanga Sea’
  • Leila exhibited at ‘The Good, The Twisted and the Unearthed’. Local MP Eddie Hughes opened the event with BHP Olympic Dam Asset President Dr Jennifer Purdie and Roy Blight Chief Executive Municipal Council of Roxby Downs in attendance
  • 2021 Space & SciFi , 2019 Eromanga Sea with ‘Death by Carrot’
  • 2019 Down the Rabbit Hole Experience’ collaborations with with ‘Death by Carrot’
  • Leila Day featured on SKY News, ABC News and radio: ABC’S North West – Oz Music Monday Mixtape
  • In 2021, Leila was accepted to the Country Arts SA Regional Artist Retreat and represented the Andamooka Opal Fields on the Regional Development Australia Far North’s ‘Rising Stars’ Program

Conan: tour guide, opal gouger, board member: Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia Tourism Committee (FROSAT) and the SA Arid Lands Kingoonya Landscape Group

  • Enjoys sharing and explaining how the Andamooka Opal Fields ecosystem works, how wonderful opal and rare opalised fossils are and our amazing night skies visitors
  • Visited family in Andamooka from the early 1970s. Lived in Andamooka in the late 1980s , mid 1990’s and currently since 2017
  • Since 2018, on Tuesday mornings @ 9.20 am on ABC North and West SA ‘Breakfast’, the Woomera Observatory’s Rebecca Tayler and Conan talk what is new in space news and stargazing  on the ABC Listen App, Andamooka 105.9 FM, Coober Pedy 106.1 FM, Leigh Creek 1602AM, Maree 105.7 FM, Port Pirie 639 AM, Roxby Downs 102.7 FM

Dave the Mad Scientist: night skies guide, opal gouger and STEM teacher

  • Known as ‘Dave the mad scientist’, Dave teaches science and mathematics at Roxby Downs Area School by day and assists with tours by adding his knowledge of astronomy, local deep-time geology and geography, and local micro life, not seen by the naked eye.
  • DTMS (as he is referred to), is an enthusiastic member of the team, who has set up radio telescopes at the Andamooka Observatory (and his home in Andamooka)
  • Dave is driving the practical experience aspect of science at the Andamooka Observatory so that further terrestrial and space studies may be enjoyed by both tourists and local students alike
  • In 2021 Dave won the Rowan Ramsey School Community Service Award
  • Dave  has been leading the Andamooka Observatory team in the search for Extremophiles: Taligrade, Archaea, microbial communities, fossilised extremophile / fossil microbe / pre-historic formations / cyanobacteria and stromatolites. Extremophile research has implications for origin of life studies and the search for life on other planetary and celestial bodies