Johan Brink was born and raised in the Valley of the Helderberg and since the age of 16 has been a true young business entrepreneur. He is the IT Administrator of a South African engineering company, solely managing its national IT and communications network.

“I enjoy observing and photographing on moonless evenings, and collaborating with friends and family on Full-moon evenings. And when it’s cloudy I’m taking a crack at the DIY side of life, programming and hacking around in the Internet of Things playground.”

Johan is an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors and is our Director of Finances.


Chris de Coning was born and raised in Johannesburg. After earning an honours degree in History at Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) he lectured in History at Vista University in Bloemfontein.

“While in Bloemfontein I became interested in astronomy, helped resuscitate the local astronomy club, became a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) – and met my future wife!”

After moving to Cape Town and joining the Cape Centre of ASSA, Chris was invited to become the Director of the ASSA Historical Section. In 2005 he was co-organizer of the African Astronomical History Symposium, the first such symposium about astronomical history in Africa. He was a founding member of the Friends of the Cape Town Observatory (FoTO) and is part-owner of Over the Moon Tours, a company specializing in astronomy tourism.

Chris is the ASSA Archivist, Director of the ASSA Historical Section, and an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors.


Edward Foster hails from Pretoria and grew up in Matatiele.

His professional career started in the AE&CI laboratory, took him to Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery as a wine chemist, and finally as a lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch (Departments of Zoology, Botany and Biochemistry). He lectured at the Tourist Guide Institute on the Geography, Geology and Geomorphology of the Western Cape for several years, and is both a Tour Guide (Reg.no. WC0752) and a Nature Guide (Level One).

“I’ve been doing public astronomy outreach since 2008 and have presented several National Science Week events and countless events with StarPeople.”

Edward is co-creator of the Southern Star Party, a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, and an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors.


Dirk Rossouw was born in a monastery outside Estcourt, Kwazulu-Natal, and grew up in Pretoria.

He recently retired from a 43-year career as project and change manager in the Public Sector. Dirk studied Law and Public Administration through the University of South Africa and earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) through Oxford Brookes University, UK.

“I’m heavily involved with numerous community-based organisations, such as Solidarity’s Helping Hand Fund and my local Neighborhood Watch, Response Team and Anti-Poaching Unit. I enjoy competitive rock and surf fishing, and paint with oil and acrylic mediums. Some of my works are featured in art galleries both locally and abroad.”

Dirk is an amateur astronomer, frequently participates in astronomical outreach events, has a passion for the conservation of South Africa’s astronomical heritage, and is an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors.


Auke Slotegraaf was born and raised in Stellenbosch and is a psychohistorian and stargazing enthusiast with a deep interest in South Africa’s astronomical roots, both culturally and scientifically.

“I’m an honorary member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA), director of the ASSA Deep-Sky Observing Section, and editor of the annual Sky Guide, the astronomical handbook for Southern Africa. I’m also a member of the Cape Magician’s Circle but haven’t figured out how to make clouds disappear yet.”

When it rains, he builds worlds for an upcoming Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

Auke has received several awards for public astronomy outreach, is co-creator of the Southern Star Party, is an Incorporating Member of the Centre’s Board of Directors, and is presently the Chair of the Board.