In March 2013, the Shire of Mount Magnet hosted the inaugural annual Astro Rocks Fest. This was within 12 months of and is intrinsically linked, to the announcement on 25th May 2012, that Australia's Murchison Region with South Africa would host components of the SKA radio telescopes.
The concept of an Astro Rocks Fest had begun in 2012, through communication with International Centre Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) Outreach and Education Manager, Pete Wheeler by Karen Morrissey, a long time Mount Magnet resident and earlier recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for community work, particularly writing the local history, who was at the time engaged by the Shire for tourism promotions and development, including setting up and managing the new Visitor Centre.
Aware of the SKA and MWA projects, Karen Morrissey was seeking to have a display set up about these new radio telescope projects taking place in the region. Karen also asked Pete Wheeler, whether ICRAR "did Astrofests."
It happened that ICRAR was planning a tour of the schools in the Murchison Region and so decided to complete the tour with the grand finale Astrofest to be held in Mount Magnet.
Karen, aware the the visitors travelling to Mount Magnet for the Astrofest would have little to engage them the following day, drew on her understanding of the rising interest in Geo Tourism, highlighted through FACET (Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism) and knowledge of the extraordinary rocks of the region - and proposed that the second day be about rocks. This was the beginning of the Mount Magnet Astro Rocks Fest.