Dear David and Jesse

Thanks for the post about changes for ASC.  

It would be interesting to see duty statements for the three key people: the Executive Officer, the proposed General Manager and the President.  How do you envisage they will carve up the responsibilities of running ASC?

Perhaps the president's role needs to be redefined in the constitution, as chair of a newly-formed ASC Board.  The Board, as you say, would have responsibility for the broad strategy, financial oversight and appointing people to executive positions.  The General Manager and Executive Officer manage the day-to-day affairs of ASC and providing advice to the Board.  Sometimes these boundaries can become blurred or ill-defined.

If you haven't considered the detail of some of these changes, perhaps the National Council might set up a small working party to look at the implications of the changes and how these need to be documented?


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On 28/10/2012, at 8:43 AM, David Ellyard wrote:

Up till now the ASC has been a typical volunteer organisation, reliant on  the unpaid and spare-time efforts of our  members and officers, though modest honoraria have been paid to some of the latter. This approach has allowed us to make a significant impact, but with  the rising profile of science communication, as represented  inter alia by the Inspiring Australia initiative, your National Council believes it is time to move on and adopt a more professional style  of management and operation.
We have already appointed Kali Madden as our paid, though still part time, Executive Officer. In that capacity she is responsible for the efficient running of our internal operations, such as membership management.  The next proposed step is the appointment in the next few months of a General Manager to undertake similar efficient management with regards to our external relations, including our significant  involvement withInspiring Australia, linkages with like-minded organisations, the staging of National Conferences and so on. We believe that such an appointment will further raise our profile, enhance our impact on science communication in Australia and increase our membership.
The changing role of the ASC President
The new appointment will have a significant impact of the role of the ASC  President, much as the work of the Executive Officer eases the burden on the Treasurer. It is intended that the General Manager will take over many of the roles currently filled by the President. The latter would become more like the Chairman of the Board, providing leadership and oversighting the development of policy, with  the implementation of policy and the development of new programs resting with the General Manager. As a result the position of President will be much less time-consuming than it has been, and should be more attractive to a wider range of members, including some in senior positions in the sci-com community.
Under  our constitution, the President is supported by one or two Vice-Presidents, who can be assigned specific roles. These officers are appointed by the National  Council from among its number, or (as now) co-opted from the wider membership. This provides a further opportunity to ease the workload on the President.
The President is elected at our Annual General Meeting, which this year will be Brisbane on 27 November. If you have an interest in taking up the Presidency (or any other role) and would like to discuss the matter further, contact our current (and soon to retire) President Jesse Shore ( or our Treasurer David Ellyard
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