To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Australian Space Agency is shining a spotlight on our astronaut-in-training, Katherine Bennell-Pegg.

Into the Light showcases the power of a dream and the determination and hard work that goes into making that dream a reality. Katherine, takes the audience on a journey from a childhood realisation of how vast our universe is, to the knowledge gained and improvements to life on Earth that come from exploring the unknown.

The Australian Space Agency employee is the first person to be trained as an astronaut under the Australian flag. Upon graduation, in April, the 39-year-old mum-of-two will also become Australia’s first female astronaut.


“There are barriers to address in our society for women in STEM,” Katherine explains. “In Australia, less than 27 percent of the STEM workforce are women. Historically only around 10 percent of astronauts have been women.

“This is an issue, not just because everyone should have the courage to dream and think they belong – but when astronauts are in space they are important medical test subjects for benefits on Earth. So, until we have increased representation of women in space, we’re not harnessing the full potential of what space can do for women on Earth.”

Making Into the Light

This is produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Shalom Almond, whose films focus on personal human stories which speak to a universal social issue or dilemma.

“I was so drawn to Katherine’s story,” Shalom said. “Firstly, because it felt so very exciting, but also because she presented as such a passionate and accomplished young woman, while unexpectantly down-to-earth and gracious in her achievements.”

About the filmmaker

Shalom Almond is an award-winning, two-time AACTA nominated, Australian documentary filmmaker. She is the 2019 recipient of the South Australian Film Corporation’s inaugural Lottie Lyell Award, which is granted to a female filmmaker demonstrating courage and boldness in their work.

Shalom is currently in post-production on Songs Inside (2024) a feature-length documentary about women in prison who sign up for a life-changing music program in the hope of finding healing and maybe even redemption. 

Shalom says she also connected with Katherine’s passion for her career, whilst trying to navigate the juggle of motherhood. 

“I’m a mother of two young daughters with a career in a male-dominated industry, and often find myself torn between my passion for my work and my girls. They are always competing with each other, and I’m never really sure if I’m giving either of them justice.

“People often ask me what drives me or motivates me to tell these stories, particularly about women. I think the answer is that I’m always striving to ‘move’ people with my work. I aim to inspire a sense of hope and possibility around positive change by giving people the very powerful platform of film.”

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Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.