Pirie resident Marcellus Enalanga approached by NASA

Port Pirie resident Marcellus Enalanga is reaching for the stars after being approached by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The former 2016 South Australian Young Achiever of the Year is temporarily based in Ali Curung, Northern Territory, where he is studying a Certificate IV in Screen and Media at the Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education.

Ahead of International Observe the Moon Night 2020, NASA reached out to people from different parts of the world and asked them to provide a short video of how they "observe the moon" in many different languages.

Marcellus' submission in the Central Australian language of Western Arrente was featured for the event livestream on NASA TV YouTube channel.

"It's just amazing. I am still processing it because it is just amazing that I have had this opportunity to be on NASA TV," he said.

"Their YouTube channel has over 7.5 million subscribers and this livestream had over 280,000 views and to know that I was a part of it and that it was shown globally ... it is definitely a big deal.

"NASA approached us at Batchelor and they wanted someone to speak in an Aboriginal language and luckily in my class I am the only fluent Aboriginal language speaker, and being a screen and media class we had the equipment on standby.

"NASA wanted people to say "I observe the moon" in different languages and where you see it from, so I said "I observe the moon from Alice Springs" in Western Arrente.

"We always had the opportunity to speak language and always connected to culture, always coming back to Central Australia and reconnecting.

"Language is important to your identity, for who you are and where you come from and we want to maintain speaking it and preserve it for many generations to come.

"Your are lost without your language and culture."

Port Pirie resident Marcellus Enalanga on NASA TV International Observe the Moon Night. View at 4:17:52

Marcellus is an active voice in the community and has sat on committees to drive changes within Port Pirie's Aboriginal community.

"With Port Pirie I sat on multiple board and committees with Port Pirie Aboriginal Health, with council I did the South Australian new parliament program, just leadership groups and mentoring young people," he said.

The aspiring TV presenter wants to use the platform and his voice to set examples for youth.

"I think the media platform is huge," he said.

" It plays a huge role with our daily lives, platforms of social media, news and TV and I think that if I want to get my voice and opinion out then they are platforms I want to be on.

"I do want to set an example, not only for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, but all young kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"That they all can make it no matter what barriers and challenges may stop them, but that they can continue to strive and reach their goals.

"That's what I have always been doing and I want to continue to set an example for all youth."

This story Marcellus shoots for the stars first appeared on The Recorder.